Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 14, 2009 14:00 ET

New Chinook Helicopters Will Be Based in Petawawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2009) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, announced today that Canada's new fleet of 15 F-model Chinook helicopters will be based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario.

The new CH-147F Chinooks will support land forces and other Government departments, secondary search and rescue missions, as well as responding to humanitarian emergencies such as fire, floods, and earthquakes.

"As stated in the Canada First Defence Strategy, there is a need to update and replace dated defence infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The Government of Canada is investing in the people, equipment, and infrastructure that the Canadian Forces need to do their job," said Minister MacKay. "These significant investments in defence provide economic benefits to communities across Canada. As well, approximately 440 new positions are planned at CFB Petawawa as a result of the Chinooks' arrival."

CFB Petawawa will see various infrastructure projects to accommodate the Chinook helicopters. This infrastructure will include the construction of new hangars that will incorporate training, maintenance, operational storage, and logistics. Construction also includes a new ramp, a refueling facility, and a fenced-in parking area. The Government of Canada will conduct open, fair, and transparent competitive processes to award the construction contracts at CFB Petawawa.

 "Petawawa was chosen because it provides the best support to army and special operations forces, many of which are co-located there, while minimizing the associated infrastructure costs for the new fleet. From this location, the Chinooks will maintain a high-readiness posture for rapid deployment," stated General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff.

"These Chinook helicopters are state of the art," said Lieutenant-General Andre Deschamps, Chief of Air Staff. "These impressive new F-model Chinooks have a full suite of leading edge avionics, sensors, and self-defence equipment, and more than twice the range of older Chinooks. Basing them in Petawawa will maximize their ability to train and operate with their main customer, the army, for deployments across Canada or around the world."

The value of the Chinook helicopter is highlighted by the operations currently underway in Afghanistan, with the six D-model versions currently employed there as part of Canada's Air Wing in Kandahar. This workhorse helicopter saves lives every day, and contributes significantly to mission success by rapidly transporting troops and equipment to locations that would be more dangerous or impossible to reach by ground.

The CH-147F Chinooks, scheduled for delivery by Boeing starting in summer 2013, will be available for future deployed missions in which Canadian Forces will participate. Domestically, the robust performance and long range of the F-model Chinooks make it an ideal aircraft for operations in Canada's vast and harsh environment, particularly in the North.

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