BOEING IS offering the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) a 200% offset deal if it purchases the CH-47 Chinook to meet the Royal Air Force's £1 billion support-helicopter requirement.

The company hopes that the offset offer will counter what it perceives to be a growing political lobby in favour of the EH Industries EH101, which is being offered by UK rival Westland.

The 200% offset offer is dependent on the RAF procuring more than 30 CH-47s. Below this number, a minimum offset of 100% would be included in any agreement.

The UK MoD is in the final stages of purchasing up to 40 support helicopters for the RAF. A decision is expected to be announced in April. Recent newspaper reports that the MoD has decided in favour of buying only Boeing helicopters have been firmly denied.

The most likely outcome, according to industry sources, is a split purchase between the CH-47 and the EH101. This approach has not met with favour in some quarters of the RAF because it will complicate helicopter-logistics support

The service already operates over 30 Chinooks.

Source: Flight International