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UK's Royal Air Force to get next-gen aircraft, weapons

A file photo of Airbus A400M military transport aircraft. While announcing its support for the trouble-marred aircraft, UK has revised its contract with Airbus to acquire 22 such planes.

LONDON (BNS): Britain's Defence Ministry has signed a host of contracts with various companies to acquire new generation aircraft and air-launched weapons for the Royal Air Force.

The MBDA of UK has got a contract to develop air-launched weapons, known as Complex Weapons, for the RAF, British Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth announced Monday.

Similarly, the BAE Systems has bagged a 120 million (US$ 180 million) maintenance contract for the RAF's advanced jet trainer, the Hawk T Mk2 aircraft.

Another deal has been signed with Boeing to supply 22 new Chinook helicopters. The first ten of the multi-role transport choppers are scheduled to be delivered by 2012-13, the MoD said.

While announcing its support for the trouble-marred A400M military transport aircraft, the ministry has revised its contract with Airbus under which it will receive at least 22 A400Ms, three less than the previous order.

"These commitments will enable the Royal Air Force to continue to provide essential airpower on operations. These projects demonstrate the MOD's commitment to providing our Armed Forces with world class equipment and support, as well as to sustaining the UK's defence industry, Defence Secretary Ainsworth said.

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