Singapore to increase Chinook helicopter deployment in Australia

One of the new CH-47F Chinook bound for Singapore, being tested in Boeing's facility in Ridley, USA. Photo c/o Scram

The governments of Australia and Singapore has reached an agreement for the expansion of the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) deployment of CH-47 Chinook heavy transport helicopters at the Australian Army’s Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland.

The RSAF will be deploying its new Boeing CH-47F Chinook to the facility, with up to ten (10) units believed to be calling the Oakey facility as its home.

Currently, five (5) older model CH-47D Chinooks are stationed in Oakey and are being used for training, and the new CH-47F Chinooks are expected to be used for conversion training as the RSAF shifts to the new model. 

It is not yet clear what the RSAF will do with the deployed CH-47D helicopters considering the acquisition of the new CH-47F was meant to replace the older Chinook variant.

The deployment of RSAF helicopters in the Australian Army facility was agreed upon in 1996, with up to 16 helicopters allowed to be deployed at any given time. 

The expanded footprint at Oakey is supported by a facilities improvement that allows for the refurbishing of existing RSAF helicopter training facilities, new support logistics and maintenance facilities, and improvement of airfield infrastructures. 

The project was started in January 2017 and was completed on August 2019 at a cost of around A$57.7 million (US$41 million).

Singapore ordered 16 new CH-47F Chinook helicopters from American aviation giant Boeing, to eventually replace the older CH-47D Chinooks in RSAF inventory.

[1] Australia Defence Magazine
[2] AIN Publications

Singapore to increase Chinook helicopter deployment in Australia Singapore to increase Chinook helicopter deployment in Australia Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on August 25, 2020 Rating: 5

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