The Australian government has committed to a 12-month extension of a contract that provides support for Defence’s Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said Boeing Defence Australia would continue to provide support for the Chinook fleet out to 2025 under the CH-47F Chinook Integrated Support Services (CISS) contract.
Price said the extension meant the total contract value had increased to A$89.2 million. “This contract assures 45 ongoing positions for the local economies in Townsville, Oakey and Brisbane, showing once again that we are leading the way when it comes to growing jobs and the Australian economy,” Price said. “The Chinook helicopter fleet has a long history of providing outstanding support to operations, both overseas and locally in Australia.”
The Australian Army’s Chinooks were an important lift and troop transport capability on operations in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2013 and were more recently deployed in support of Operation Bushfire Assist in 2019-2020.
“During the devastating bushfire season, Australian Army Chinooks provided support to firefighting operations and delivered humanitarian assistance to remote and isolated communities in South Australia and Victoria,” Price said. “These contract changes will increase the level of services provided to Defence and expand the maintenance and training support provided for the CH-47F Chinook fleet. The recent increase in services for the Chinook fleet will continue to boost opportunities for defence industry in Queensland.”
Retired Australian Army soldier and Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson welcomed the commitment to boosting regional Queensland’s defence industry opportunities. “This contract extension demonstrates our commitment to local jobs, while also ensuring the Army, and particularly the 5th Aviation Regiment, is well-equipped,” Thompson said. “These ongoing positions are important jobs for Townsville, not only for those who work in them, but also the flow-on economic benefits they bring for our city.”