Nato allies intend to have a multinational helicopter initiative to provide Nato operations with additional airlift capability.

The Nato nations will provide support to the programme through a HIP Helicopter Task Force (HHTP) led by the Czech Republic to help Nato countries that are short of resources to deploy and run a transport helicopter operation on their own.

The programme assistance ranges from the provision of operational pre-deployment training, command and control capabilities to base support and financial aid.

The declaration of intent signed by allies will provide critical utility helicopter support, particularly in the International Security Assistance Force operations in Afghanistan.

The allies who signed include the Czech Republic, Albania, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

The HHTP encourages allies to provide resources and expertise so that those allies, who operate transport helicopters such as the MI 8, MI 17 and MI 171, receive the assistance necessary to set up a multinational deployable operation.

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