Australia’s future Army Chinook maintenance technicians will now learn their trade using a suite of cutting-edge training devices that combine the Chinook airframe with simulated avionics systems for a virtually immersive training experience.
Boeing Defence Australia vice president and managing director Darren Edwards officially opened the new facility alongside the Australian Army Chief, Lieutenant General Rick Burr AO, DSC, MVO, and Brigadier Jeremy King as part of the Australian Army’s Aviation Corps Golden Jubilee celebrations.
"As we look back on 50 years of the Australian Army Aviation Corp, it is fitting that today we also look to the future and celebrate a modern facility that will train the women and men of the Corps for many years to come," said Edwards.
The new facility includes a Chinook Avionics Trainer (CAT), two Maintenance Blended Reconfigurable Avionics Trainers (MBRAT) and a Chinook Mechanical Training Aid. As the only training facility of its kind in the region, there is opportunity to provide training support to coalition Chinook operators.
BRIG King said, "The Army Aviation capability continues to rely on the vital support of Australian Industry and its experienced and professional staff."
In collaboration with the Australian Army Aviation Training Centre, Boeing Defence Australia led the acquisition and integration of the CAT and MBRAT devices in partnership with its subcontractor Kratos.
Boeing will continue to support the training centre with a team of instructors providing training and technical support on the devices under the newly consolidated Chinook Integrated Support Services contract.
Chinook helicopters were introduced in 1962 as the CH-47 Chinook, and models A, B and C were deployed in Vietnam. As the product of a modernisation program, which included refurbishing existing CH-47s, the first CH-47Ds were delivered in 1982 and were produced until 1994.
A central element in the Gulf War, they continue to be the standard for the US Army in the global campaign against terrorism. Since its introduction, 1,179 Chinooks have been built. Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.
The CH-47 Chinook is a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter. Its primary mission is to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Its secondary missions include medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development.