Qinetiq to modify Chinooks

The MoD and Boeing have awarded Qinetiq contracts worth a total of £16m to modify eight heavy-lift Chinook helicopters at the MoD’s Boscombe Down site.

The Chinook Mk 3 helicopters will be reverted to a similar standard to the conventionally instrumented Mk 2/2A and tested before being released to service.

The first of these helicopters is expected to be operational in 2009 and all eight converted Chinooks will join the existing fleet of 40 RAF Chinook helicopters currently based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire. The overall cost to the defence budget to modify these helicopters is expected to be £90.1m, of which £62m is the contract with Boeing.

Under its contract to reverse modify the aircraft, Qinetiq will service and prepare the aircraft for entry into the programme. The company will also manage the procurement of materials and logistics coordination, plus provide engineering and flight trials instrumentation support to the three active trials aircraft.