The US State Department has approved a potential sale of 16 H-47 Chinook extended range helicopters to the UK for $3.5bn through the Foreign Military Sale programme.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) issued the requisite certification to notify Congress. It said the proposed sale is expected to bolster the UK’s capabilities by providing a heavy lift rotary wing capability for execution of missions in extreme environments.
In addition to the Boeing-manufactured H-47 Chinook, the UK has placed a request for the sale of 36 T-55-GA-714A engines, 48 embedded GPS inertial navigation units, 20 common missile warning systems, 22 radio-frequency countermeasures, and 19 multi-mode radars.
The consignment is likely to include 19 electro-optical sensor systems, 40 M-134D-T mini guns with mounts and tools, as well as 40 M240H machine guns with mounts and tools.
The UK intends to acquire equipment for communications, navigation, aircraft survivability, and synthetic training. A support package, including spares and repair parts, will be provided, as well as initial training equipment and services.
In a statement, DSCA said: “The UK is a close Nato ally and an important partner on critical foreign policy and defence issues. The proposed sale will enhance US foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing the UK’s capabilities to provide national defence and contribute to Nato and coalition operations.”
Boeing is set to serve as the principal contractor for the sale. The DSCA expects the implementation of the proposed sale will require 26 contractors.
Earlier this year, India signed a deal to acquire 22 AH-64E Apache attack choppers and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the US firm.