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Chinook Helicopters

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the position regarding the possible sale to the US of the Chinook HC3 helicopters originally ordered for the RAF. [108846]

An approach was received from the United States last year about the possible purchase of the Chinook Mk3, with the United Kingdom in turn purchasing the MH47G. While informal discussions took place with the DoD, no formal approach has been received.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the Chinook HC3 helicopters ordered for the RAF (a) were delivered to the UK and (b) are flying in the UK. [108847]

Of the eight Chinook Mk3 aircraft ordered for the RAF, seven were delivered to the United Kingdom during the period of July 2001 to May 2002. The remaining aircraft has been retained at Boeing Helicopters in Philadelphia, USA in support of a UK Chinook capability enhancement programme.Two of the Chinook Mk3s are flying in the UK as part of the Military Aircraft Release (MAR) Trials, another is currently being utilised at RAF Odiham for ground training.The remaining four in-country aircraft are awaiting the issue of MAR recommendations and a Release to Service.