Boeing support contract for Australian Army Chinooks extended

An Australian Army CH-47 Chinook over water.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Wetzel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Boeing Defence Australia will continue to support the maintenance, training and sustainment services for the Australian Army fleet of 14 CH-47F Chinook helicopters following a contract extension signed by Defence.

First Assistant Secretary Joint Aviation System Division, Mr Shane Fairweather, said the $41 million contract extension would ensure continued support for the Chinook fleet over the next five years.

“Chinooks have formed a significant component of Australia’s contribution to battlefield aviation capability,” Mr Fairweather said.

“The Australian Defence Force has a longstanding history with Chinooks. The platform has a reputation for consistently delivering effective, safe and affordable capability for Defence.”

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The extension will see the total contract value increased to $146 million.

Australia’s CH-47F Chinook fleet is based in Townsville, with maintenance and sustainment service support provided in Oakey and Brisbane.

“The CH-47F Chinook fleet is an important capability for Defence, providing critical lift capability on several domestic and regional operations, including Bushfire Assist in 2020, and Tonga and Flood Assist in 2022,” Mr Fairweather said.

“This contract extension will expand the maintenance and training support for our Chinook fleet, while boosting opportunities for defence industry in Queensland.”

The contract extension will add an additional 15 ongoing positions and 3 apprenticeship employees for Queensland industry.

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This contract follows the arrival of two additional Chinook helicopters in 2022, which joined the Australian Army Aviation Command’s existing 12 CH-47F Chinook medium-lift helicopters operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville.

About the CH-47F Chinook

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a versatile, twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. Its top speed of 170 knots (315 kilometres per hour) is faster than many contemporary utility and attack helicopters.

Its primary roles include troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield resupply. There is a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external-cargo hooks underneath.

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The aircraft is the ADF’s largest helicopter. The Australian Army’s Chinooks were an important lift and troop transport capability on operations in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2013, and were more recently deployed in support of Operation Bushfire Assist in 2019-2020.

More recently, the fleet assisted in Flood Assist operations.

In 2021, the then Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said Boeing Defence Australia would continue to provide support for the Chinook fleet out to 2025, under the CH-47F Chinook Integrated Support Services (CISS) contract.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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