Sunday, 26 September 2021

Minister unveils new helicopters at RAF Benson

DEFENCE minister Philip Dunne showcased the latest in military helicopter capabilities at RAF Benson.

DEFENCE minister Philip Dunne showcased the latest in military helicopter capabilities at RAF Benson.

In the last 12 months, the Puma 2, Merlin Mark 2, Chinook Mark 6 and both the Royal Navy and British Army Wildcats have all been declared ready for operational use.

Mr Dunne said: ?Along with making huge savings for the taxpayer, the Government has invested some £6billion to sustain and improve our helicopter capability of the last four years. We will continue this investment with a further £11billion budgeted to be spent over the next decade.?

Maj Gen Richard Felton, commander of Joint Helicopter Command, said: ?Our investment and collective endeavours are beginning to deliver the next generation of battlefield helicopters for UK defence.

?This will enable the Joint Helicopter Command to remain at the forefront, projecting and sustaining key battlefield helicopter capabilities into the future.?

Meanwhile, Puma 2 helicopters have arrived in Afghanistan ready to begin the first operational deployment since being upgraded.

The aircraft, flown by 33 and 230 Squadrons at RAF Benson, will take over from the Chinook force in Kabul, providing support to British and coalition troops who remain in Afghanistan in non-combat roles, assisting the Afghan government and national defence and security forces.

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