The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has received the first two of four new CH-47F Chinook helicopters from the US.
This arrival comes approximately three months after the foreign military sale (FMS) was approved.
In April, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible FMS of four CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Australia.
The two helicopters have been delivered to army’s 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, while the third and fourth Chinooks are expected to arrive in Australia in mid-2022.
With this, Australia’s current fleet of Chinook helicopters will grow from ten to 14.
Australia Defence Minister Peter Dutton said: “The additional helicopters will strengthen army’s airlift capability into the future and increase the ADF’s ability to support operations globally.
“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.”
“By working closely with the United States, through streamlined processes to rapidly deliver defence capability, the Morrison government is demonstrating its commitment to defence’s strategic objectives and, in this case, bolstering defence’s aviation capability.”
In March, the Australian Department of Defence announced an $89m CH-47F Chinook support contract extension with Boeing Defence Australia.
Australia’s defence industry will continue to make an additional $52m (A$69.5m) investment into the Australian economy over the next 20 years to continue increasing the Chinook fleet.
The CH-47 Chinook is a twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift advanced multi-mission helicopter. It is designed to conduct troop movement, artillery positioning and battlefield resupply missions.
From 2006 to 2013, the Australian Army’s Chinooks served as key lift and troop transport capability on operations in Afghanistan.