Australia to Upgrade CH-47 Cockpit Avionics

CH-47 Chinook cockpit upgrades. Photo, courtesy of Rockwell Collins.

Australia’s CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters will receive avionics upgrades and extended maintenance support under a new performance-based logistics deal cut with Rockwell Collins.

The agreement extends to 2020 and calls for Rockwell to provide field service engineering, program management, logistics service and repair and overhaul for the Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit components installed on the Boeing-built aircraft and the Australian Army’s transportable flight proficiency simulators.

“The partnership with Rockwell Collins in support of the Australian Army CH-47F Chinooks has proven economical and highly efficient whilst improving successes in its operational domains,” said Rachael Taylor, the Chinook platform manager for the Australian Army’s Cargo Helicopter and Unmanned Surveillance Program Office. “These results have led the unit to extend the contract to ensure the in-country Rockwell Collins interface is maintained to ensure mission success.”

Under the contract extension, the Australian Army receives local support and on-site maintenance and training for its CH-47 avionics. To date, it has achieved an average availability of 100% on all CAAS equipment over 20 months with no aircraft-on-ground incidents, according to Rockwell.

“We’ve been supporting the Australian Army since they took delivery of their aircraft three years ago, delivering the highest level of service in country so they can maintain mission readiness,” said Thierry Tosi, VP and general manager of service solutions for Rockwell Collins. “This extension demonstrates their confidence in our services program and the value we provide through a PBL.”

Rockwell Collins in October took home a similar five-year, $30.7 million contract to provide avionics repair and logistics, field service support and spares management for CAAS cockpit avionics in support U.S. Special Operations Command aircraft, including expanded roles in field service and repair chain management for other installed avionics. Since SOCOM began using performance-based agreements for service and support about 10 years ago, Rockwell Collins has been able to keep critical equipment mission ready by improving reliability and reducing the volume of returns and shortening turnaround times, the company said. This has led to a significant reduction in the number of spares required.

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox