The final Merlin helicopter has left RAF Benson in Oxfordshire for a new life at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.
The Merlin Force officially transferred to the Royal Navy on 30 September 2014 and the final Merlin helicopter bade a fond farewell to RAF Benson as they flew to their new home at RNAS Yeovilton.
The Merlin came into service with the Royal Air Force in 2001 and contributed to combat and humanitarian operations for over a decade before being transferred to the Royal Navy.
Search and rescue helicopters that were due to be re-located to Manston Airport could now be housed at Lydd Airport. The aircraft, which are used for rescue operations along the coast, currently operate out of RAF Wattisham in Suffolk. They were due to move to Manston this summer but the airport there has now closed. ITV News Meridian understands that negotiations are now underway to bring the aircraft to Lydd. Tom Savvides talks to parliamentary candidate Lynn Beaumont and the leader of Shepway Council, David Monk.
The first of the RAFs 14 new Chinook helicopters were unveiled in Hampshire today.
The Defence Secretary revealed the Mark 6 helicopter as part of a £1 billion scheme to improve capabilities for pilots and crew.
During his visit to RAF Odiham in Hampshire, Philip Hammond also announced a £115 million agreement with Boeing Defence UK to maintain engines of the RAF's increased fleet of 60 Chinooks.
This will replace five existing contracts with one - saving the taxpayer £20 million.
The Defence Secretary and the Chief of the Air Staff, who is a Chinook pilot, were then given a tour of the brand new aircraft.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“These state of the art aircraft will provide a significant uplift in helicopter capability operating as the battlefield workhorse of the RAF, supporting the Army on the frontline for decades to come. The 14 new Chinooks will boost our fleet to 60, already the largest in Europe.
Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond is in Hampshire today to unveil the first of the new RAF helicopters.
The new chinook helicopters comes after the Government's commitment to 1% a year increase in the Ministry of Defence's equipment and support budget.
The aircraft will make it easier to operate in difficult conditions and feature a digital flight control system, including hot and dusty environments such as Afghanistan.
Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, will be at RAF Odiham in Hampshire today to unveil the first of the new Mark Six helicopters.
The chinnooks can carry up to 40 people or 10 tonnes of cargo and will increase the Uk's fleet to 60 aircraft.
An Indian restaurant on the Isle of Grain has been asked to send takeaway to the UN troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo. David Johns reports, talking to chef Abul Monsur and co-pilot Mustapha Azim.
A Dorset MP has written to the Transport Minister saying he will continue to fight to save the Portland Search and Rescue helicopter. Under a government review of coastguard operations, the service would be axed by 2017. Richard Drax says the Portland base offers good value for money.
The battle to save Portland Search & Rescue helicopter is gathering momentum. The Dorset MP Richard Drax is urging the Government to think again over plans to axe the Coastguard service.