Boeing delivered the seventh CH-47F Chinook to the Australian Army last month, three weeks ahead of schedule, supporting modernization of Australia’s cargo helicopter fleet and eventually replacing the Commonwealth’s six older CH-47D Chinooks. The seven advanced Chinooks were ordered as part of contract signed in 2012.
Australia has one of the most advanced and highly capable Chinook fleets in the world. Major developments on the CH-47F include a digital cockpit, an advanced communications system and new avionics. Those allow the Australian Army to operate more effectively with international forces. The Australian Chinook configuration also includes a new rotor brake that enables 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.
“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,” said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Department of Defence. “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.
Boeing is also providing Australia with EA-18G Growler, P-8A Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.