The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed a contract extension with Boeing Defence Australia to continue to support the CH-47F Chinook fleet.

The estimated value of the extended contract is approximately $28.68m (A$41m), which increases the total value of the Chinook support service contract to $102.14m (A$146m).

Under the extended contract, the company will continue to deliver maintenance, training, and sustainment services to the Australian Army’s fleet of 14 Chinook helicopters over the next five years.

Australian DoD Joint Aviation System Division first assistant secretary Shane Fairweather said: “Chinooks have formed a significant component of Australia’s contribution to battlefield aviation capability.

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“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.”

Commissioned in 2015, the Australian Army’s Chinook helicopters are based at Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville in Queensland, Australia. It is operated by the army’s C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville.

Meanwhile, the sustainment and associated support services for the Chinook fleet are provided in Oakey and Brisbane.

The latest contract extension will create and support an additional 15 job positions and three apprenticeship roles across Queensland.

According to the DoD, the contract extension comes after the addition of two more Chinook helicopters to the Australian Army Aviation Command last year, bringing the total number of helicopters to 14.

Fairweather added: “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 2022.

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