Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Gosport seals £420m MoD Chinook helicopter deal

Chinook at RAF Odiham Image copyright PA
Image caption The Chinooks will be maintained at Fleetlands with technical support from Odiham and other UK locations

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a £420m contract with Boeing for the in-service support of the RAF's Chinook helicopter fleet.

The five-year contract, announced by the prime minister on his visit to Portsmouth, is for the maintenance of the fleet in Fleetlands, Gosport.

Other technical support will be provided from RAF Odiham in Hampshire and other sites across the UK.

The deal will support the RAF's fleet, which will be 60 strong by early 2017.

It includes the new Mark 6 helicopters.

During his trip to the south coast, David Cameron also announced BAE Systems and Magma Structures had been chosen as the preferred bidders to occupy the Portsmouth ship hall facilities.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Portsmouth City Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson welcomed the news but urged the prime minister to commit to bringing all the Navy's new frigates to Portsmouth so the entire surface fleet was based there.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Cameron visited the Royal Naval base during his trip to the south coast