United States delivers two CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters to Australian Air Force

According to information published by the United States Air Force on July 29, 2021, As part of the U.S. Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales program, 9th Airlift Squadron aircrew from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware transports two CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters aboard a C-5M Super Galaxy from Dover AFB to Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville, Australia in early July, further reinforcing the alliance between the two countries.

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United States delivers two CH 47F Chinook transport helicopters to Australian Air Force 925 001 A CH-47F Chinook helicopter is unloaded from a Dover Air Force Base C-5M Super Galaxy at Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville, Australia, July 7, 2021. (Picture source U.S. Air Force)

The sale and delivery of these two Chinooks, approved by the U.S. State Department, was a team effort between the governments of Australia and the U.S., as well as industry partners.

Boeing Defence Australia (BDA), the Australian Department of Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, and the U.S. Air Force’s 436th Aerial Port Squadron foreign military sales program office participated in the effort.

U.S. Army pilots flew the helicopters from Boeing’s helicopter plant in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania to Dover AFB in early June, to begin preparation for the flight to RAAF Base Townsville. An Australia Defence Force representative at Dover AFB, along with six BDA maintenance team members started breaking down the first Chinook within an hour.

From June 8-19, BDA maintenance team personnel unfastened panels to access the forward and rear rotor transmission components, along with removing six rotor blades and various other components and equipment necessary to load the helicopters into the Super Galaxy. Throughout the entire process, the BDA team worked with members of the 436th APS, continuing a relationship that began more than five years ago.

Upon arriving in Australia, the 9th AS aircrew quickly unloaded the two Chinooks, which will be assigned to the Australian Army. Future Chinook missions between the two countries are scheduled for Spring 2022.

The CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. It is powered by two Lycoming T55 turboshaft engines, mounted on each side of the helicopter's rear pylon and connected to the rotors by drive shafts. This helicopter to transport two or three light tactical vehicles or up to 55 troops with a maximum payload capacity of 10,000 kg. 

The CH-47F is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that is into service with the U.S. Army and international defense forces. It contains a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) Cockpit, and advanced cargo-handling capabilities that complement the aircraft's mission performance and handling characteristics.