Seven CH-47Fs are being acquired under a $631 million project (AIR 9000 Phase 5C) to replace the Army’s existing fleet of seven CH-47D Chinooks, and will be operated by 5 Aviation Regiment from RAAF Base Townsville. The remaining five Chinooks are due to be handed over by August, while two CH-47F flight simulators are already in service at Townsville.
“The aircraft and associated equipment are being purchased through the United States Foreign Military Sales program; maintenance support will be provided locally through partnerships with Boeing Defence Australia and BAE Systems,” a joint statement by Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and Member for Herbert Ewen Jones said on Tuesday.
“The project remains on schedule and under budget.”
The seven CH-47Fs were ordered in March 2010, at which point deliveries were expected to begin in 2014 but continue through until 2017.
New and upgraded working accommodation, new maintenance hangars, storage and workshop facilities, and a new simulator building are also being built at Townsville to support the new heavylift helicopter.
Foxtrot Chinook A15-302 on a recent flight from RAAF Base Townsville. The CH-47Fs are incorporate optional Boeing-designed rotor brakes and ship tie-down adaptors to enhance operations from the Canberra class LHD.