Boeing, July 07, 2009 - LONDON - Boeing Defence UK Ltd., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company, today announced that a UK Chinook Mk3 helicopter successfully completed its first test flight on June 6 at the Ministry of Defence's Boscombe Down facility during the flight testing and evaluation phase of the Mk3 reversion program.
A Boeing team that includes key suppliers QinetiQ and GE Aviation Systems Ltd., working in close collaboration with the Royal Air Force (RAF), is reverting eight Mk3s for compatibility with the RAF fleet of 40 Mk2s. The eight converted helicopters are scheduled for delivery from late 2009 through 2010 and will join the rest of the RAF Chinook fleet at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.
"Significantly increasing the heavy-lift capability of the RAF, the additional eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters will help support demanding operational needs in Afghanistan," said Rear Adm. Tony Johnstone-Burt, Commander of the Joint Helicopter Command.
"This program, which is a team effort empowered by the RAF and key suppliers QinetiQ and GE Aviation Systems, is a wonderful example of working together to achieve an expanded mission-ready fleet," said Jim O'Neill, vice president of Integrated Logistics for Boeing Global Services and Support. "Getting these aircraft into service will help save lives and support essential missions."
A Chinook helicopter can carry up to 55 troops or 10 tons of freight and be used in a variety of operational roles, including troop transportation and casualty evacuation. They are highly capable and versatile helicopters that cope well with many diverse environments, including the harsh conditions in Afghanistan.
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Boeing Defence UK Ltd. currently has employees at 20 locations throughout the United Kingdom supporting Ministry of Defence and U.S. military programs.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.