BOEING has agreed to build 14 new Chinook helicopters for the UK Ministry of Defence, under a contract worth £1bn.
The American aerospace firm will also provide the RAF with support services for the fleet for the first five years of the deal. Construction work on the aircrafts will take place in Philadelphia.
The purchase will raise the RAF’s total fleet of Chinooks to 60 once the order is completed in 2015.
The RAF will receive the first aircraft for initial trials in 2013 and all helicopters will be ready for deployment in 2017.
Defence secretary Liam Fox said as he announced the purchase that the government is “committed to delivering a top-class equipment programme that is properly funded”.
The UK already has the biggest fleet of Chinooks in Europe, and has most recently used the helicopters in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.