PHILADELPHIA, Boeing delivered its fourteenth and final Mk6 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter to the United Kingdom, bringing the number of Chinooks in the Royal Air Force’s fleet to 60.
Chinooks are used by the Royal Air Force for casualty evacuation, resupply, and maneuvering troops and other equipment. They are capable of carrying up to 55 troops at a time, or 10 tons of freight. Chinooks can also be used for search and rescue operations. Boeing’s delivery coincides with the 35th anniversary of the aircraft’s service in the Royal Air Force.
“Since they were introduced into service in 1980, our Chinook fleet has played an integral supporting role for British forces and have been deployed on an almost continuous basis since,” Royal Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young said in a statement. “These new Mark-6 helicopters will significantly enhance our existing heavy-lift helicopter and Special Forces capability. Our overall fleet of 60 Chinooks will support our frontline troops in current and future operations for decades to come.”
The Mk6 variant features an updated cockpit with full night-time capabilities and night vision, and a new Digital Automatic Flight Control System. Additional capabilities include a satellite Global Positioning System, Instrument Landing System and infrared search lights. The aircraft comes armed with two M134 six-barreled miniguns and an M60D machine gun mounted on the ramp.
“The new Mk6 Chinooks offer the Royal Air Force a modern, capable asset for meeting its mission requirements today and well into the future,” Steve Parker, Boeing H-47 Chinook program manager, said.
The Royal Air Force has used Chinooks in every major NATO engagement since they received the aircraft in 1980.
By Ryan Maass