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Subject: What is going to happen to our D model Chinooks?
Volkodav    7/13/2009 4:53:30 AM
In the current edition of Australian Aviation MajGen Tony Fraser, Head of DMO Helicopter Systems, is quoted as saying there are currently no plans relating to the future of our CH-47D Chinooks once the new F models have been delivered. Their future will be decided once F's come on line. The article stated that new build F's were ordered as operational requirements ment none of our D's could be spared to be rebuilt as F's, but that our D's had already been upgraded with many F systems, including engines and were still very capable platforms. Will we keep some or all of the D's, maybe upgrade them , or will we just sell them? MajGen Fraser seemed to be suggesting that there may be a business case to keep at least some of the D's.
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ArtyEngineer       7/15/2009 8:17:27 PM
As far as I am concerned you can never have enough "Medium" and "Heavy" lift Helos available.  The are quite frankly some of the most important assests that a military can call upon.  I was watching C-Span here in the US this morning and saw some of the UK's Primeministers Question time where old Brown was getting absolutely hammered over the supposed lack of helo assets available to UK forces in Afghanistan.
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stingray1003       7/15/2009 10:49:53 PM
Australia has few heavy lift helicopters compared to countries like the UK, Neatherlands, Singapore etc.
 I don't think we will be getting rid of any. I would imagine once the F is operational the NH-90's are operational there will be some slack to allow upgrades/repairs/life extension. I don't think we will ever sell them, we will operate them until they are dead.
 Operationally I think Chinooks have proved themselves extremely valuable in every conflict they have operated in.  With ambibs comming online I think they will be in greater demand than ever.
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Aussiegunneragain       7/19/2009 8:45:09 AM
I read some official release recently that said they are being retired. Bugger.
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Aussie Diggermark 2       7/19/2009 10:31:18 PM
The DMO Head of Helicopter Systems, Major General Tony Fraser, stated to Australian Aviation - Andrew McLaughlin in July 2009, page 44, that, "Chinooks are currently in high demand worldwide and a major constraint on production is a specialist metals shortage, and transmissions construction which generates a lead time of about 36 months.
But we've got good running gear in the D models which we're very pleased to have, and because we have such an operational demand, we'll keep flying the Ds until we bring the F models in. That's why we've gone for new aircraft - it will allow us to transition very quickly, and then we'll look at what we do with the D models.
We'll develop that over time and take that back to Government for consideration. So a lot of the running gear can come from the aircraft across to the new aircraft, but we haven't worked through that aspect just yet."

As can be seen, plenty of options exist and no firm decisions about the future of the Ds has been made. One thing that IS clear, is that the D models will remain operationally available, even whilst the F models are being introduced and with the reports of Government wanting up to 12x CH-47 aircraft for Army, I'd suggest that as the new F models come online, some or all of the D models will go into re-manufacturing to the F standard, to bring the fleet up to the ADF and Government's apparent desired fleet size.   
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stingray1003       7/22/2009 10:19:49 PM
That would seem to be the sensible option. I only see Australia requiring the Ch-47 more in the future.
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