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Australia seeks to escape self-inflicted helicopter morass (Opinion)

19th January 2022 - 23:35 GMT | by The Geobukseon in Indo-Pacific

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The Australian Army has retired its S-70A-9 Black Hawks. These examples are flying over Timor-Leste in a peacekeeping mission. (Gordon Arthur)

How is it that Australia repeatedly gets itself into hot water with the operation of helicopter fleets?

Australia has a spotty record in terms of military helicopter procurements, with the MRH90, Tiger and SH-2G Super Seasprite all examples of procurements that went wrong.

The observer must ask why it is so hard for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to learn lessons from past mistakes.

Late last year, Defence Minister Peter Dutton announced that the ADF will phase out its troubled fleet of MRH90 Taipans (the Australian name for the NH90) in favour of up to 40 UH-60M Black Hawks.

Dutton, who seems more decisive than his predecessors, conceded: ‘The Black Hawk makes perfect sense, and

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