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Australia receives Chinook helicopters

Feb. 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Two Boeing Chinook CH-47D helicopters formerly used by the U.S. Army have been delivered to Australia and will enter operation this year.

With the aircraft's acquisition by the Australian military, the total number of the country's Chinook fleet will be seven.

One of the helicopters received is replacing and aircraft lost last year during operations by Australian forces in Afghanistan.

The medium-lift Chinook is a mainstay for troop and cargo transport since the original series model entered service with the U.S. military in the early 1960s. In addition to carrying cargo and troops internally, it can carry as much as 26,000 pounds of cargo externally.

In addition to transport operations, the aircraft is suitable for search-and-rescue missions.

Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith said the two newly acquired helicopters will undergo modification in Australia to configure with other CH-47s in the Australian fleet.

Australia intends to replace the CH-47Ds with the F model beginning in 2016.

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