Boeing has secured a multi-year contract to support the UK Royal Air Force’s fleet of around 40 CH-47 Chinook HC2/2A transport helicopters, under a partnered logistics model that the UK Ministry of Defence says could ultimately be extended until 2040.
Worth £200 million ($350 million) over an initial period of five years, the through-life customer support agreement – which was awarded to Boeing last week on a non-competitive basis – will see the company assume responsibility for the forward and depth maintenance of the UK’s Chinook fleet, which will take place respectively at RAF Odiham and the Defence Aviation Repair Agency’s Fleetlands site. The company will also manage spare part stocks and guarantee the frontline availability of an agreed number of aircraft per day under the deal.
“The UK operates the largest fleet of Chinooks after the US Army, so it is absolutely paramount that we establish a first-rate logistics support regime for them,” says armed forces minister Adam Ingram. The MoD’s current plans call for the HC2 and HC2A fleets to be retired in 2015 and 2025 respectively, although a planned capability sustainment programme upgrade is expected to keep both types in frontline use until 2040.
CRAIG HOYLE / LONDON