Melbourne, Australia — The Defense Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) notified US Congress on Dec. 18 of a potential Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program sale of three Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Australia.

The three Chinooks are in addition to seven delivered this year under Project Air 9000 Phase 5C and now in service with the Australian Army's 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, northern Queensland.

The possible sale involves Major Defence Equipment (MDE), including three CH-47F Chinooks; six Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines; three Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Blue Force Tracking (BFT) systems; three Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); three Honeywell H-764 Embedded GPS/INS systems, and three Infra-red Signature Suppression systems.

Non-MDE systems requested include IFF transponders, radios, avionics, support and technical services.

The MDE portion of the deal is listed and US$105 million ($145.16 million Australian dollars) and the total overall estimated value of the sale is US$180 million ($284.84 million Australian dollars).

It is understood that the additional Chinooks will be acquired under Project Land 4502 Phase 1, which will seek to enhance the Australian Defence Force medium lift capability in response to the Australian Government's Force Structure Review, due to be released in conjunction with a new Defence White Paper in early 2016.

Defense News understands that the project is yet to be considered by the Australian Government but, should approval be granted in early 2016, the three helicopters will be delivered before the end of the year.

A Boeing spokesperson in Australia said the company did not comment on FMS sales.

"While we defer to the US or Australian governments for comment on any proposed Foreign Military Sale, Boeing remains proud of having delivered Australia's seven CH-47F Chinooks on budget and ahead of schedule earlier this year," the spokesperson said.

"We remain ready to support any customer who requires the advanced capabilities of the CH-47F."

The Australian Department of Defence also declined to answer any questions pertaining to the DSCA notice and supplied the following statement in response:

"In the case of a potential Foreign Military Sale, Defence often seeks out information on the availability and cost of potential acquisitions prior to consideration by Government," a Defence spokesperson said.

"It is therefore premature to comment on any of the issues raised."

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