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Australia to acquire seven CH-47F Chinook helicopters

CH-47F Chinook helicopters. Photo:Boeing

NEW DELHI (BNS): Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has signed a $513.5million contract with US Army Security Assistance Command to acquire seven CH-47F Chinook helicopters, two Simulators and associated spares.

“The aircraft will replace the existing fleet of six CH-47D Chinooks operated by C Squadron of the 5th Aviation Regiment based in Townsville, and the first two aircraft are planned to enter service in 2014, with all seven in service by 2017,” Greg Combet, the Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science said in an official news release Sunday.

The CH-47F Chinook helicopters are made by US company Boeing. The Improved Cargo Helicopter (ICH) provides support, coverage, and sustainment for Maneuver, Fire Support, Air Defence, and Mobility and Survivability mission areas. The aircraft is the first of 452 CH-47F helicopters included in the U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter modernisation program. They are highly capable and versatile helicopters that cope well with many diverse environments, including the harsh conditions in Afghanistan.

“The CH-47D fleet is providing outstanding support to the ADF, particularly in Afghanistan, and this acquisition of seven new CH-47F Chinook helicopters by the Australian Government will strengthen our ability to support our soldiers in the future."

“However, the primary aircraft elements will remain consistent with the US Army fleet so we can leverage the benefits of their large fleet for engineering and other support, “he added.

The contract to procure the aircraft through the US Government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme was signed earlier in March, in a ceremony at the Australian Embassy in Washington.

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