Delivery of seven new Boeing CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army Aviation Corps has now been completed. The manufacturer announced on September 9 that the final helicopter had been delivered on August 10, on budget and three weeks ahead of schedule.
The new CH-47Fs will eventually replace the Australian Army’s six older model CH-47D Chinooks. They were ordered as part of a US Government Foreign Military Sales agreement with Australia in 2012.
Australia’s CH-47Fs include a digital cockpit, an advanced communications system and new avionics. These allow the Australian Army to operate more effectively with US and international forces through the easy exchange of digital maps that facilitate co-ordinated responses for military and humanitarian missions. The Australian Chinook configuration also includes a new rotor brake that enhances shipboard operations by actively stopping the rotor blades rather than allowing the blades to naturally spin down’ once the engine is turned off after landing.
Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Department of Defence said: “Our CH-47D Chinooks have been real workhorses for Australia, both here and on operations overseas, and our new CH-47F Chinooks are set to be even more dependable, affordable and capable assets. We are very pleased with how Boeing and the United States Army have worked together to deliver this important capability to Australia ahead of schedule and on budget.”
The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade, operates the Chinooks from their home base in northern Queensland, Australia. Boeing Defence Australia will provide on-site operational maintenance support for the CH-47F aircraft, having supported the CH-47D since 2010. Alan Warnes