A long overdue addition of 14 helicopters to the UK Support Helicopter Force.
The 8 Chinook HC3s that were ordered for Special Forces use have not yet been put into service. They were delivered from 2001 onwards, and did not receive clearance to fly under anything but VFR, so were deemed unsuitable for Special Forces (or any military) use.
After storage at Boscombe Down, a move has at long last been made to get these aircraft re-converted so they can become operational as desperately needed support helicopter assets. This conversion process should take a couple of years to achieve, so we may start to see these coming into service by the end of 2009. They will join the rest of the Chinook fleet at Odiham
M4476 ZH897 Chinook HC3 Ex N2045G, arrived 09/05/2002 at Bristol Docks, d/d Boscombe Down 14/05/2002
M4477 ZH898 Chinook HC3 Ex N2057Q, arrived 15/07/2001 at Bristol Docks, returned to N2057Q
M4478 ZH899 Chinook HC3 Ex N2057R, arrived 15/07/2001 at Bristol Docks, returned to N2057R
M4479 ZH900 Chinook HC3 Ex N2060H, arrived 28/07/2001 at Bristol Docks, damaged whilst being off-loaded, stored Boscombe Down
M4480 ZH901 Chinook HC3 Ex N2060M, arrived 09/05/2002 at Bristol Docks, d/d Boscombe Down 15/05/2002
M4481 ZH902 Chinook HC3 Ex N2064W, arrived 24/10/2001 at Bristol Docks
M4482 ZH903 Chinook HC3 Ex N20671, arrived 01/2002 at Bristol Docks
M4483 ZH904 Chinook HC3 Ex N2083K
An additional 6 Merlin helicopters are being purchased from the Danish Air Force. Denmark operates a mix of Utility and SAR Merlins, and it is the 6 Utility aircraft that are being purchased. These are virtually brand new aircraft, having only been delivered to Denmark in the last few months.
They will be converted to HC3A standard by Westlands at Yeovil, being given new BERP rotor blades and other UK standard equipment for greater commonality with the current Merlin HC3 fleet, and will be based at Benson by the end of 2008.
50089/DEN01 ZJ990 Merlin Mk.512 f/f 12/12/2003, d/d 20/10/2006 to RDAF as M-501
50157/DEN10 ZJ999 Merlin Mk.512 To RDAF as M-510
50160/DEN11 ZK001 Merlin Mk.512 To RDAF as M-511
50161/DEN12 ZK002 Merlin Mk.512 d/d 12/2006 to RDAF as M-512
50162/DEN13 ZK003 Merlin Mk.512 To RDAF as M-513
50165/DEN14 ZK004 Merlin Mk.512 To RDAF as M-514