This is news that we no longer expected, even if the ground had recently been prepared for such an announcement: France should finally be equipped with heavy transport helicopters CH-47 Chinook. The latter would be operated by the Air Force and not by the Army, the latter having in fact recently rejected such an opportunity by the voice of general Bertrand Vallette d'Osia, the head of the ALAT (Light Aviation of the Army).
Firstly, from FlightGlobal who revealed the news, two Chinook CH-47Fs could be rented by the Air Force, allowing both to meet certain urgent operational needs and to test the operational concept around the use of these new aircraft . The purchase of a dedicated fleet could subsequently be included in the next Military Programming Law after 2025. As part of this new LPM, the Air Force would also request a modernization to a Standard 2 to be defined d '' at least ten H225M Caracal, its heaviest current helicopter.
The need for heavy helicopters for the French forces has been known for a long time, but has recently been highlighted during operations in the Sahelo-Saharan strip. For Operation Barkhane, the Chinook helicopters of the European allies are today considered essential for the conduct of operations, even having regular coverage on the website of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The situation is so critical that the maintenance in the Sahel of three British Chinooks and the arrival of two Danish AW101s were at the center of all debates For many months.
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