The U.K. wants to buy 14 Boeing H-47(ER) Chinook helicopters and related equipment for approximately $2 billion.
The U.K. is working with the Pentagon on a final contract. It wants delay delivery of the helicopters by as much as three years, in part due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported citing an undisclosed March 25 letter.
The move is a shot in the arm to Boeing, which has been seeking to line up new customers for Chinooks to help guard against a potential closing of the facility after the U.S. Army sought to scale back its orders. The company needs to build 18 helicopters per year to keep the supply chain and skill sets intact.
Chinook helicopter deliveries are expected to be completed before the end of 2030.
In a statement to the news outlet, Boeing said it “has a strong relationship” with the Royal Air Force, and that it is “looking forward to building on that partnership as the H-47 Chinook Extended Range procurement process continues.”
The U.K. took delivery of its first Chinook in November 1980. Boeing currently maintains the U.K.’s existing fleet of 60 older Chinook helicopters.