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Defence Signs 6 Year Contract with BAE Systems to Maintain Army’s Fleet of Chinook Helicopters

Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) March 01, 2011

Defence Signs 6 Year Contract with BAE Systems to Maintain Army's Fleet of Chinook Helicopters

Defence Signs 6 Year Contract with BAE Systems to Maintain Army's Fleet of Chinook Helicopters

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that Defence had signed a contract with BAE Systems to maintain the Army’s fleet of Chinook Helicopters.

The $20.9 million contract means that BAE will maintain and support the Chinooks over the next six years.

“Chinooks were an important part of the Defence Force’s response to the Queensland floods,” Mr Clare said.

“They transported the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and emergency service workers as well as food and shelters into places like Condamine.

“They have also been hard at work supporting our troops in Afghanistan in recent times providing logistical support and moving combat units into battle.

“None of this happens if they aren’t well-maintained.”

Mr Clare said the Chinook fleet was based in Townsville and BAE Systems Australia is working there with Army Aviation.

“BAE Systems Australia’s bid represented the best value for money,” Mr Clare said.

BAE Systems have been maintaining the Chinook fleet since 1995.

There are currently six helicopters in the Chinook fleet operated by the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville.

Since 1995 Chinook helicopters have been the Australian Defence Force’s deployable medium-lift helicopter capability.

Australia and its Royal Australian Air force were the first foreign customer’s for the Chinook Helicopter.

The unique twin-rotor design led to the aircraft being nicknamed the ‘angry palm tree’.

After initial problems with turbine failures were overcome the RAAF formed No 12 Squadron at RAAF Amberley on 1 September 1973 to become a dedicated Chinook unit.


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