Merlin Helicopters Will Fill British Shortage

By Staff Writer | March 30, 2007
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Britain is buying six AgustaWestland EH101 Merlins from Denmark to fill an aircraft shortage with its forces participating in NATO operations in Afghanistan. It also will proceed with a Boeing-Thales plan to fix eight Royal Air Force special-operations Chinook HC3s, grounded seven years by a dispute over certification of their avionics software, to help fill that shortage. The U.K. Ministry of Defence has hired AgustaWestland in Yeovil to modify the six EH101s, which were delivered to the Danes over the last year, to the British configuration. They will be known as EH101 Merlin HC Mk3As when they enter service with the RAF later this year. Britain will buy six replacement EH101s for Denmark. The EH101s cost 175 million pounds ($344 million), according to Reuters, which said fixing the Chinooks should cost 50-60 million pounds ($98-117 million). They are to be ready in two years.
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