Boeing has signed a contract valued at $45 million USD with the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) for the purchase of two new Boeing CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift helicopters in a brief ceremony here today.
Raymond A. Brosius, director, Tandem Rotor Programs at Boeing in Philadelphia, said, "We are pleased that the Australian Defence Forces recognize that the Boeing Chinook is a key combat support tool. In addition, expanding its Chinook fleet from four to six will enhance the Australian Army's ability to provide civil relief services, an area of growing emphasis for the ADF in the Southwest Pacific region. CH-47s have a long history of service down under, and the Boeing team is proud to know that Chinooks will be flying here for many more decades."
The Chinooks, to be delivered in Brisbane in 2000, will join four CH-47Ds in service since 1995 with the Australian Army's 5th Aviation Regiment, Townsville, Queensland. The 5th Aviation Regiment transports troops, fuel and heavy equipment in support of ground force operations and handles a variety of civil relief missions. Recently, the unit operated its Chinooks in Papua New Guinea to support ADF humanitarian relief operations.
The new Chinooks are in production at the Boeing rotorcraft program management center in Philadelphia, Penn. and are virtually identical to U.S. Army CH-47D Chinooks but contain cockpit instrumentation specific to Australian Army requirements.
The Boeing Chinook is the world's most reliable and effective heavy-lift helicopter. Tandem rotor configuration provides exceptional lift in "high-hot" conditions, with useful loads up to 25,000 lbs. (11,350 kg), and excellent controllability in conditions that curtail conventional helicopter flight. The CH-47D features triple cargo hooks, modularized hydraulics and an improved electrical system. Large external and internal load capabilities and high airspeeds allow the Chinook to do the work of three utility helicopters and give it among the lowest cost-per-ton-nautical-mile profiles available.
The Boeing Company develops and produces military rotorcraft for customers worldwide. Among its products are the CH-47 Chinook, the AH-64D Apache Longbow, the RAH-66 Comanche and the V-22 Osprey.