The Royal Air Force will continue to field the CH-47 Chinook heavy helicopter for many years to come. Indeed, an agreement was signed on March 25 between the British authorities and the Pentagon, concerning an order for 14 MH-47G Chinooks as well as engines, weapons and defense systems, for a total amount of $2 billion. .
This order, under discussion since 2018 and initially covering 16 aircraft, will ultimately be postponed for three years at the request of the British authorities, in order to absorb the budgetary effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The new aircraft will replace the oldest of the 60 CH-47s still in service with the Royal Air Force, and will maintain heavy vertical transport capacity beyond 2040, according to the Royal Air Force.
This is the 4th order for this aircraft made by the Royal Air Force since 1978, and 72 aircraft have already been delivered to Great Britain from 1980. They played key roles during all the conflicts in which British forces participated from their entry into service.
During the Falklands War, only one of the five Chinooks shipped survived the attack on the container ship Atlantic Convoyer by Argentine Super-Etendards equipped with AM39 Exocet missiles. During the first Gulf War, a CH47 transported the SAS Bravo Two Zero team which would be made famous by the eponymous novel by Chris Ryan, author of the novel and the Strike Back series. It was the same in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and more recently in Mali in support of the French Barkhane force.
The British Chinooks are implemented by the 27th and 18th B Squadron, and the 7th Special Forces Squadron on the Odiham base in Hampshire, 100 km east of London, and the 28th Squadron at the Henson base some 40 km further north.
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