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Armed Forces: Helicopters

Volume 707: debated on Monday 26 January 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans there are to update the Chinook fleet to a common standard; over what timescale; and at what cost. [HL689]

The Ministry of Defence manages Chinook upgrades via a through-life management plan leading to progressive capability developments. We are currently undertaking a number of system upgrades to meet current and future operational requirements including enhancements to communications, night vision, defensive aids and engines which will be completed across the fleet by 2016. We are also planning to fit the whole Chinook fleet of 48 aircraft with a common cockpit in order to deliver maximum flexibility and capability. This will be subject to the Department's investment approvals process later this year, during which cost and time estimates will be approved. Beyond this, we are developing plans to ensure that the Chinook fleet can continue to provide an effective capability until 2040. Investment decisions are not expected until early next decade.