Boeing [BA] delivered the 14th Mk6 Chinook helicopter to the United Kingdom, completing the most recent order, the company said Monday.
The completion of the UK order increases the U.K. Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook fleet to 60 vehicles.
“These new Mark-6 helicopters will significantly enhance our existing heavy-lift helicopter and Special Forces capability. Our overall fleet of 60 Chinooks will support our frontline troops in current and future operations for decades to come,” Royal Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young, director of Helicopters in the United Kingdom’s Defence Equipment & Support organization, said in a statement.
The Mk6 model Chinook is updated with a new machined monolithic airframe, U.K.-specific avionics, rescue hoist, and interoperable communication and navigation equipment, Boeing said.
“As our company approaches its centennial, milestones such as this one demonstrate the significance of Boeing’s long and close partnership with the United Kingdom. The new Mk6 Chinooks offer the Royal Air Force a modern, capable asset for meeting its mission requirements today and well into the future,” Steve Parker, vice president of cargo helicopters and H-47 Chinook program manager at Boeing, said.
The RAF has operated Chinooks in every major NATO operation since 1980 and also uses the rotorcraft for troop transport, air assault, and medical evacuation missions. In addition to the Mk6 update, Boeing also worked with the U.K. Ministry of Defense Equipment and Support to implement performance-based logistics initiatives to increase the readiness of Britain’s Chinook fleet, the company said.