Chinook work

Vector Component Services (UK) has been awarded a contract to support the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters through life customer support (TLCS) programme.

Boeing recently received a £420m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to continue the provision of in-service support for RAF’s Chinook fleet, which is expected to have 60 helicopters by early 2017, and includes the new Mark 6 variant.

Under a subcontract to Boeing, Vector will provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul for the Chinook helicopter.

Vector Component Services (UK) business director Mick O’Connor said: "This contract award ensures the continuation of Chinook component support within the Vector Aerospace group for the next five years, and demonstrates the success of the company’s partnership with Boeing and MOD.

"The successful completion of the first Su 30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF."

"We pride ourselves on providing our armed forces with safe and reliable aircraft components. This is a very important programme and underpins our future growth plans."

In particular, the company’s Almondbank facility performs precision testing, overhaul and repair on key components, including rotorheads and gearboxes, which are critical for the successful and safe operation of helicopters.

The TLCS contract extension requires Boeing to maintain Chinook fleet in Fleetlands, Gosport, while other technical support will be provided from RAF Odiham and sites across the UK.

The Chinook helicopters are manufactured by Boeing. They are used for trooping, resupply, and battlefield casualty evacuation, as well as for carrying internal and underslung loads.

It is claimed that the aircraft is the UK’s only military heavy lift helicopter, and is capable of transporting up to 54 soldiers or 10t of supplies.

Chinook was extensively used by the RAF during fighting in the Falklands War, peace-keeping missions in the Balkans, as well as combat missions in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Image: A Vector Component Services (UK) employee performing Chinook component work. Photo: courtesy of copyright 2015 by Vector Aerospace Corporation.