The C-5M (serial 85-0001) from the 436th Airlift Wing’s 9th Airlift Squadron, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, arrived with the two CH-47Fs on board at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Townsville, Queensland, on June 23. The additional helicopters for C Squadron of the Australian Army’s 16th Aviation Brigade/5th Aviation Regiment will strengthen Army Aviation Command airlift capability into the future and increase the Australian Defence Force’s ability to support operations globally. The delivery brings the total Australian Army CH-47F inventory to 14.
Ken Eland, vice president and programme manager of Cargo Helicopters at Boeing, said: “The Chinook remains the premier heavy-lift helicopter in the world and we are excited to see more aircraft reach all edges of the globe. We’re honoured to continue supporting Australia’s heavy-lift aircraft needs now and in the future.” Boeing will continue partnering with the Australian Army and Australian industry on the CH-47F Integrated Support Services contract, delivering local engineering, maintenance, training and supply chain support to keep the Chinooks mission ready.
Scott Carpendale, managing director and vice president, Boeing Defence Australia, said: “For more than 40 years, the Chinook has been the backbone of the Australian Defence Force’s rotary wing heavy-lift capability, providing vital assistance for humanitarian, disaster relief, and military missions, both locally and overseas.
"Our Boeing Defence Australia team in Townsville, Oakey and Brisbane continues to grow and is proud to be delivering a highly capable sovereign platform sustainment capability that maintains the Chinooks’ operational readiness. The success of the contract, and of the Chinooks’ performance, is a testament to our strong partnership with the Australian Army and the Department of Defence and we thank them for their confidence in Boeing to continue supporting this mission critical fleet and the women and men who operate them.”
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency had announced on April 29, 2021, that US State Department approval had been granted for the four additional helicopters. The contract was then rapidly agreed and the first two arrived at Townsville on a C-5M on July 7, 2021.