Minister for Defence Stephen Smith today announced that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) fleet of Chinooks has increased to seven following the arrival of two additional CH-47D Chinook helicopters in Townsville.
In November last year, the Government approved the purchase of the two ex-United States Army Chinooks following the loss of one ADF Chinook on operations in Afghanistan in May 2011.
The Minister said the new Chinooks would enter a period of deep maintenance and modification to bring them up to the same configuration as the existing ADF Chinook fleet.
Both Chinooks are scheduled to be delivered to the Australian Army to support operations by the middle of 2012.
The CH-47D Chinook is a highly capable medium-lift utility helicopter. Its roles include troop movement, battlefield equipment transport, search and rescue and disaster relief.
Chinooks have been highly capable workhorses since they entered ADF service in 1995 in operations both in Australia and overseas.
Chinooks have been deployed on Operation Slipper in Afghanistan since 2006.
They have performed an outstanding service for both ADF and International Security Assistance Forces and are in high demand across Afghanistan due to their superior performance in hot and high altitude conditions.
The ADF CH-47D fleet will be replaced with seven new CH-47F Chinooks from around 2016.