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Australia receives two more Chinook helicopters from the US

Australian Chinook helicopter fleet grows to 14
US Air Force photo of the delivery of the first two of additional four Chinook helicopters in July 2021

Australia welcomed two more CH-47F Chinook helicopters at Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville on June 23, bringing its total fleet to 14.

Australia’s defense industry minister Pat Conroy said the two additional Chinooks were part of the Australian government’s A$595 million investment in heavy-lift battlefield aviation capability.

The expedited purchase saw Australia buy four heavy lift helicopters from Boeing under an agreement from 2021. The first two of the additional four units were delivered in July last year.

This means that Australia received the four additional helicopters less than a year after the contract was signed.

The final two airframes will join the Australian Army Aviation Command’s existing 12 CH-47F Chinook medium-lift helicopters operated by C Squadron, 5th Aviation Regiment.

“The Australian government is demonstrating its commitment to bolstering defense’s ability to prepare our ADF to be future ready,” minister Conroy said.

“The Chinook is defense’s largest helicopter, which 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.

Australia’s defense industry will continue to play a key role in supporting the increased Chinook fleet, with an additional $69.5 million of investment into the Australian economy over the next 20 years, minister Conroy added.

CH-47F is the latest model of the Chinook, incorporating advanced operational capabilities provided by the common avionics architecture system cockpit with an integrated digital automatic flight control system.

The common avionics architecture system also aligns with the US Army and other allies, improving worldwide interoperability and flight-handling characteristics.