Officials Look To Newer, Cheaper Helicopter Types

By Tony Osborne
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
February 03, 2014

The high cost of training aircrews for the U.K.'s battlefield support helicopters is prompting senior officers to look at cheaper options to maintain crew currency.

With types such as the CH-47 Chinook costing what commanders describe as in the “high teens” of thousands of pounds per hour to operate, officials from the U.K.'s tri-service Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) are drawing up ideas to potentially introduce a less expensive rotorcraft fitted with a comparable modern avionics suite to keep crews current.

“Forty-five percent of the army's running cost bill is taken up by helicopters, . . . and we have got to reduce those costs,” Brig. Neil Sexton, JHC deputy commander, said at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference here late last month.

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