Australia is positioned to become an international centre of Boeing CH-47 Chinook expertise following a new partnership agreement between Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) and CASG.
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In line with the government’s Australian Industry Capability Program, Boeing will consolidate all existing support services for the Australian Army’s CH-47F Chinook fleet into a new through-life support contract to be conducted in-country.
Murray Brabrook, general manager of integrated services and support at Boeing Defence Australia, said, "This new partnership has been structured to maintain the Australian Army’s alignment with the global Chinook fleet while standing up in-country engineering and supply chain capabilities to complement the training and maintenance services we currently deliver in Australia."
Boeing Defence Australia believes expertise developed under the Chinook support services contract could one day allow it to support other regional Chinook operators and future Australian Army helicopter fleets based on other platforms.
"The majority of work will be undertaken in Oakey and Townsville, building on our existing regional network of Australian rotary wing capability to deliver more cost-effective Chinook support while maximising Australian industry involvement and local agility to respond to Australia’s operational requirements," Brabrook said.
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.