Rapport cost analysis programme chinook uk mod

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Ministry of Defence

Chinook Mk3 Helicopters
REPORT BY THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL | HC 512 Session 2007-2008 | 4 June 2008

The National Audit Office scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament. The Comptroller and Auditor General, Tim Burr, is an Officer of the House of Commons. He is the head of the National Audit Office which employs some 850 staff. He and the NationalAudit Office are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources. Our work saves the taxpayer millions of pounds every year: at least £9 forevery £1 spent running the Office.

Ministry of Defence

Chinook Mk3 Helicopters

LONDON: The Stationery Office £7.70

Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 2 June 2008

REPORT BY THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL | HC 512 Session 2007-2008 | 4 June 2008

This report has been prepared under Section 6 of the National Audit Act 1983 for presentation to the House of Commons inaccordance with Section 9 of the Act. Tim Burr Comptroller and Auditor General National Audit Office 30 May 2008 The National Audit Office study team consisted of: Dan Jenkins and Stewart Lingard, under the direction of Tim Banfield This report can be found on the National Audit Office web site at www.nao.org.uk For further information about the National Audit Office please contact: NationalAudit Office Press Office 157-197 Buckingham Palace Road Victoria London SW1W 9SP Tel: 020 7798 7400 Email: enquiries@nao.gsi.gov.uk © National Audit Office 2008

sUMMAry PArt one 4

Problems with the original procurement
PArt tWo

7 10 14

Development of solutions
PArt tHree

management of the Reversion project

1 2 3

Study methodology The united States ArmyChinook helicopters

18 20

Battlefield Helicopters: Committee of 21 Public Accounts Conclusions and Recommendations concerning Chinook mk3 and Treasury minute response united kingdom military Airworthiness 23 – key principles


Photographs courtesy of Qinetiq Group PLC

1 The Ministry of Defence (the Department) operates a fleet of 40 Chinook Mk2/2a helicopters, primarily insupport of Army and special operations. In 1995 the Department ordered 14 Chinook Mk2a helicopters from Boeing of which six were retained as Mk2a and have flown satisfactorily since they were delivered. The other eight, however, were modified as Mk3 to meet a longstanding requirement for dedicated helicopters for special operations. Those eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters cost some £259 million and theDepartment took delivery of them from Boeing in December 2001. Although Boeing met its contractual obligations, the avionics software fell short of United Kingdom military airworthiness standards and the helicopters have not flown on operations. 2 In 2004, the Committee of Public Accounts described the original procurement of the Chinook Mk3 Helicopter as “one of the worst examples of equipmentprocurement” that it had seen. This report follows on from the Committee’s concerns and examines whether the Department has taken appropriate steps to make the eight Chinook Mk3s operational. Our methodology is set out at Appendix 1.




The decision making process
3 There was no immediate solution on how the Chinook Mk3 helicopters could be madeoperational. In September 2004 the Department identified a “Fix to Field” project as the best value for money solution. This project involved replacing or modifying the cockpit display and other systems, which would deliver more capable helicopters for special operations. It would also reduce shortfalls in helicopter lift by freeing up Mk2/2a helicopters that had been modified to deliver the special...