British To Equip New Chinooks With Thales Avionics By Andrew Chuter Published: 1 Apr 2010 15:36 LONDON - New Chinook helicopters being ordered for Britain's Royal Air Force will feature an avionics package provided by local supplier Thales UK rather than the standard Rockwell Collins fit, say industry sources. The British are ordering 10 Chinooks in the first phase of a deal with Boeing for up to 24 machines to bolster its current force of twin-rotor helicopters. The business case for the initial order is scheduled to be considered by the MoD Investment Approvals Board on April 15. The industry sources said the British have opted to take the F model of the Chinook from Boeing's Philadelphia production without the Rockwell avionics and instead fit the same Thales package that is being installed in an RAF upgrade program for the machine known as Project Julius. A final decision has not yet been made on whether the avionics work will be done in the United Kingdom by Project Julius lead contractor Vector Aerospace or AgustaWestland at its Yeovil factory, said the sources. The British recently announced they had signed a deal with Boeing to begin initial design and long-lead manufacturing work on the helicopter order. http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4564584&c=EUR&s=AIR ---- Thales recently partnered with Samtel in a joint venture (it's second in India after the one with Rolta's) signed in April, 2009. The company initially did some R&D work for helmet mounted sights for use by the IAF's fighter jets and advanced helicopters, but were also bidding for avionics systems integration, including Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), for the Mirage 2000s, before Dassault grabbed the deal. Perhaps Samtel-Thales could provide the avionics for future units of the LCH, eh? Especially since it seems to be the focus of their Joint Venture. Waddaya say?