The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) has delivered three additional Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters two and a half months ahead of schedule in a major boost to the Australian Army’s medium-lift helicopter capability.
Acquired under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, the new Chinooks are straight off the Boeing production line and are fitted with the latest US Army technology, including updated avionics and next-generation self-protection systems, according to a statement from CASG. The addition of three CH-47Fs to the existing fleet of seven significantly expands battlefield capability.
Executive Officer Cargo Helicopter Management Unit Major Michael Hansen said that the success of the project represents a significant amount of negotiation, contract work and governmental liaison.
“Achieving delivery of three new aircraft inside four months demonstrates highly effective and coordinated project acquisition between the US Army, Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group, the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, and Army Aviation,” he said.
“By employing the Foreign Military Sales strategy, the ADF also leverages the benefits of being part of a much larger fleet, which is growing to almost 500 CH-47Fs flying with the US Army. Not only does the ADF see the benefits of scale in the initial purchase price, but the ongoing cost of consumable and repairable items is greatly reduced.”
The Integrated Investment Program lists the ‘Additional CH-47F Chinook Helicopters (three helicopters)’ project as having an approximate investment value of between $300 million and $400 million.