The Australian Army Aviation Command have received two additional CH-47F Chinook medium-lift helicopters from the US.
The US Air Force’s C-5 Galaxy aircraft delivered the copters to the RAAF base in Townsville as part of an expedited sale.
Welcoming the Chinooks, 5th Aviation Regiment commanding officer lieutenant colonel Christopher McDougall said: “The additional helicopters will provide defence with additional lift capacity and strengthen [the] Army’s ability to support operations globally.”
The Australian Army’s Chinook fleet is operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment.
The two new helicopters will be reassembled in Townsville. They will be handed over to the 5th Aviation Regiment for operational use after an evaluation process.
Army Aviation Command commander major general Stephen Jobson said: “Army Aviation Command is postured to oversee the introduction of new aviation capabilities and upgrades to our current capabilities, and this delivery reinforces that preparedness.
“By working closely with our ally, the United States, this rapid acquisition and delivery demonstrates our ability and commitment to be ready now.”
He added: “It [the Chinook] has been instrumental in recent missions, including Operation Bushfire Assist in 2019-20, Operation Tonga Assist in 2022, and Operation Queensland/New South Wales Flood Assist in 2022.”
According to Jobson, the Chinook is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) largest helicopter.
The CH-47 model of the Chinook is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift, advanced multi-mission helicopter used to conduct troop movement, artillery positioning, and battlefield resupply missions.
In 2021, the ADF announced the acquisition of four CH-47F Chinook copters. The first two of the additional Chinooks were delivered in July last year.