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Britain, Denmark Sign MoU for Transfer of Six EH-101s

Six state-of-the-art Merlin helicopters will be transferred from Denmark to the UK under a memorandum of understanding signed today by both governments.

The first of these helicopters will arrive in the UK shortly and will be integrated into the UK fleet, ready for operations in 2008.

The Ministry of Defence has also entered into a contract with Agusta Westland to produce six new Merlin helicopters for Denmark as a replacement for the six transferred.

Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support, Lord Drayson, said:

"This MoU builds on the announcement made in March. We continue to move the project forward at speed and expect to take possession of the Merlins imminently.

"The deal will improve vital support for our troops in theatre and shows our commitment to providing them with the best equipment available.

"I am pleased that we have been able to work so effectively with one of our coalition allies to achieve this - I would like to thank the Danish Government for their cooperation."

1. In March the Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne announced that over the next two years, fourteen additional helicopters will be made available for use on military operations. The Ministry of Defence agreed to buy six new Merlin helicopters, which will be available within a year and to convert eight existing Chinook Mark 3 helicopters to make them available for deployment in two years. The complete package will cost around £230 million.

2. The MOU signed today was between the British and Danish Governments.

3. The agreement is a transfer and not a sale.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The six Danish aircraft have not yet entered operational service; the last was delivered in January. They will be modified by AgustaWestland to British HC Mk3A standard, with BERP IV main rotor blades and defensive aids. Under the arrangement,
MoD is also buying six new EH-101s that will be delivered to Denmark to replace the original aircraft. Total cost to Britain for the entire package is £174.7 million)

Merlin Helicopters to Arrive Imminently from Denmark