Britain Swoops in to Buy Chinook Helicopters at Ridley Park Boeing Plant

A heavy-lift Chinook helicopter from Boeing
Image via MoD (Ministry of Defense).

Boeing has signed a nearly $2 billion contract with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for 14 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, writes Michael Tyrrell for Aerospace Manufacturing.

The order is part of a commitment to invest 85 billion pounds over the next four years in the UK Armed Forces.

Boeing has been looking for new customers to buy its helicopters, built at the plant in Ridley Park.

The purchase buffers the plant from a potential closing from the U.S. Army scaling back its orders.

 “From assisting emergency repairs to UK flood defenses, providing vital logistics support during COVID-19 to its warfighting role on Afghan battlefields, the Chinook has been the workhorse of the Armed Forces for over 40 years,” said Defence secretary Ben Wallace.

The helicopter works in the desert and the arctic. It can transport up to 55 people and 10 tons of cargo.

The 14 aircraft will be purchased from the US via a Foreign Military Sales agreement. The purchase includes development and manufacture over the next decade. Deliveries start in 2026.

They will be based at RAF Odiham, home of the Chinook fleet.  

Read more at about the new UK Armed Forces deal for 14 Boeing Chinook helicopters.