Chinook to help in Victorian fire-fighting efforts

Friday 28 Jan 2022

The latest addition to Victoria’s firebombing fleet is ready to hit the skies to support firefighting efforts across the state and help keep communities safe this summer. The new CH47 Chinook firefighting helicopter, capable of holding 11,000 litres of water, landed in early January for Victoria’s high-risk weather season and forms part of a 50-strong fleet which has greater flexibility and firebombing capacity than ever before.

It can operate through the hottest part of the day and continue into the night, to give firefighters the best chance to put fires out. The fleet includes two Large Air Tankers (LAT), one of which is new to Victoria. Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes joined Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp to inspect the new LAT at Avalon Airport.

The new LAT can travel faster and require less room for take-off and landing than previous air tankers, making it more accessible to smaller regional airfields and therefore more agile to respond to changing risks across the state. The new additions ensure a more modern fixed wing and helicopter fleet, with technically advanced systems, critical to supporting our firefighters to keep communities safe.

The Andrews Labor Government has invested AU$29 million in the 2021-22 fleet, which includes a mix of firebombing aircraft, air supervision and air intelligence-gathering aircraft, with a surge capacity of up to 100 that can support the Victorian core fleet and be called upon when needed.


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