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Australia seeking to buy Chinook helicopters from US

30 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 30th, 2021 09:21)

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Australia.

Australia seeking to buy Chinook helicopters from US
A CH-47F practising the pinnacle manoeuvre. Credit: Staff Sgt Nathan Hoskins.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Australia.

The total estimated cost of the FMS, which has been approved by the Department of State, and the associated equipment is $259m.

The sale package will include up to four CH-47F cargo helicopters, eight T55-GA-714A aircraft turbine engines, five AN/AAR-57 common missile warning systems, embedded global positioning systems (GPS) or inertial navigation systems (INS/EGI) +429, and two EAGLE+429 embedded GPS/INS/EGI.

Mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, spare parts and components, special tools, test equipment, publications and technical manuals will also be included in the sale.

Australia has also requested engineering and technical support from the US Government and contractors, as well as other associated elements of logistical and programme support.

The CH-47F is an advanced multi-mission helicopter designed for the US Army and other international defence forces.

The DSCA said in a statement: “This proposed sale will support the United States’ foreign policy and national security objectives. Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific.

“The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

“It is vital to the US’s national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

The helicopters, which will be sold from the US Army’s inventory, will enable Australia to enhance its operational capabilities to meet existing and emerging threats.

Last week, a UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson told Army Technology about plans to buy 14 new Chinooks for £1.4bn.

In the recently published Defence Command Paper, the UK outlined plans to retire its oldest Chinook helicopters and invest in new longer-range CH-47s.

The extended-range Chinook can carry twice as much fuel as standard Chinook airframes.