The ADF heavy-lift battlefield aviation capability has been boosted with the arrival of two new CH-47F Chinooks in Townsville.
CAPTION: A new CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter is unloaded from a United Stated C-5 Galaxy at RAAF Base Townsville, Queensland. Photo by Trooper Lisa Sherman.
The $595 million investment in four new CH-47F Chinooks will take Australia’s fleet from 10 to 14 under the acquisition program.
The first two of the new helicopters were delivered to Townsville this week aboard a large US military transport aircraft. The third and fourth helicopters are expected to arrive in Australia mid next year.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton welcomed the arrival of the helicopters to Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment.
“The additional helicopters will strengthen Army’s airlift capability into the future and increase the ADF’s ability to support operations globally,” Mr Dutton said.
“The Chinook is Defence’s largest helicopter, with a long and proven track record of supporting ADF operations in Australia, our near region and further afield.”
The arrival came about three months after the sale was approved.
Mr Dutton said being delivered just days before the beginning of Exercise Talisman Sabre – the largest bilateral combined training activity between the ADF and US military – highlighted the countries’ excellent strategic working relationship.
“By working closely with the United States, through streamlined processes to rapidly deliver Defence capability, the government is demonstrating its commitment to Defence’s strategic objectives and, in this case, bolstering Defence’s aviation capability,” he said.