DH - Defence Helicopter

Airbus pitches Tiger for Australian Army helicopter requirement

2nd September 2019 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Airbus Helicopters is planning on bidding its Tiger rotorcraft for Australia’s Project LAND4503 Armed Reconnaissance Capability requirement, it confirmed on 30 August. 

A request for information released by the government is seeking details from industry on what is available for the Australian Army’s future armed reconnaissance helicopter requirements beyond 2040, to which Airbus is offering the Tiger helicopter that has been used by the service since 2004. 

The company says that continuing to operate the Tiger – out of the 22-strong in service fleet 18 of which were assembled by Airbus in Brisbane – will save Australia A$3 billion ($2 billion) against the budget for the programme.

‘Tiger is an extremely agile, effective, and digitally connected armed reconnaissance helicopter,’ Andrew Mathewson, Airbus Australia Pacific managing director, said.

‘Since delivery, the Australian Tiger has matured into a fully operational army capability, and is integrated into the combined arms team.  It continues to prove itself as an adaptable platform, and is now a key element of Australia's amphibious capabilities on-board the Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Docks.’ 

The cost per flight hour of the Australian Tiger has reduced by more than 30%, Airbus says, and the sortie success rate is currently sitting above 95%, both of which contribute to the 'compelling position‘ that Tiger has for more success in Australia.

'Airbus proudly delivers a strong Australian industry capability, including more than 260 local staff supporting Tiger,‘ Mathewson added.

Tiger has carried out more than 30,000 flight hours for Australia, and has provided support for counter-insurgency operations in Mali, security operations in Afghanistan, and amphibious strike in Libya.

A total of 181 Tigers have been delivered to Australia, France, Germany and Spain, having been first deployed by the French army in Afghanistan in 2009.

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