Australian Government: Department of Defence
Defence Capability Plan 2009 - Public Version

AIR 9000

Phase 5C Additional Heavy Lift Helicopter

Phase Scope

Phase 5C will replace the Australian Army’s current fleet of six CH-47D Chinook helicopters with seven CH-47F Chinook helicopters and associated Transportable Flight Proficiency Simulators.


  • Previously Phase 5 intended to address current and future capability deficiencies in the Chinook weapon system. Previous sub-phases included:
  • Phase 5A (complete) which replaced the engines in the ADF CH-47D Chinook. The new engines have improved performance and lowered operating costs, as well as providing commonality with the US Army CH-47D configuration;
  • Phase 5C (first pass approval 13 September 2007) intended to acquire three additional CH-47F Chinook helicopters; and
  • Phase 5B intended to upgrade the extant ADF CH-47D fleet to the same configuration as Phase 5C, that is CH-47F. The previously planned combined outcome of the previous Phases 5C and 5B was a homogenous fleet of CH-47F Chinook helicopters.

The new Phase 5C combines the objectives of the previous Phases 5C and 5B under a single project. The new Phase 5C ensures that the ADF has a viable future Chinook helicopter capability which is aligned to the US Army configuration and support systems throughout its life-of-type.

Australian Industry Opportunities


Phase 5C intends to acquire CH-47F Chinook helicopters from the US Army through a Foreign Military Sales acquisition. There are opportunities for Australian industry involvement through:

  • design and fitment of additional mission equipment to the CH-47F aircraft once they are delivered to Australia;
  • management, construction and maintenance of facilities to be built at Townsville;
  • provision of support to the Transportable Flight Proficiency Simulators; and
  • provision of contracted support to the DMO Cargo Helicopter Project Office from 2010.
Through-life Support

It is anticipated that, in the same approach as the CH-47D capability, unit-level maintenance could be carried out by Army personnel while deeper maintenance and other support will be contracted to Australian industry. The CH-47D Deeper Maintenance Request for Tender will be released later in 2009 for work commencing in 2010. The scope of this Request for Tender may also include CH-47F deeper maintenance from 2015 onwards.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

Capabilities and related activities that may provide opportunities for Australian industry in this phase include:

Activity Capability
Electronic Warfare

Rotary & Fixed

Wing Aircraft

Support of Mission & Safety Critical Software System Assurance Capabilities (H’ware & S’ware) Facilities & Infrastructure
Assemble / Install   O      
Design   D     D
In-Service / Through-life Support O D D D D
Logistics Support O D      
Manufacture / Construct   O     D
Modelling / Simulation O        
Project Manage         D
Repair and Maintain   D D D D
Research and Development   O      
Software Development / Support   D D D  
Test and Evaluate O O      
Acquisition Category (ACAT)
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 2 High $500m-$1500m (Towards the middle of the band)
Project Management Complexity Level 3 Moderate
Schedule Level 4 Low
Technical Difficulty Level 3 Moderate
Operation and Support Level 3 Moderate
Commercial Level 3 Moderate

The ACAT Level assessed for this Phase is ACAT III.

Planned Schedule Highlights

First Pass Approval



FY 2009-10 to FY 2010-11

Initial Operating Capability

2016 to 2018

Points of Contact

Capability Staff:

Staff Officer Army Aviation 5

(02) 6265 2098

Defence Materiel Organisation:

Project Manager AIR 9000 Phase 5C

(02) 6265 6611

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version