Airbus has been awarded an extension of the Australian Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger through-life support (TLS) contract by the Australian Department of Defence.
Airbus Australia Pacific Managing Director Andrew Mathewson said that the five-year, TLS contract extension reflected the current standing of the Tiger in Australia.
“Airbus is committed to ensuring the success of the Australian ARH Tiger fleet, and we have worked closely with the Australian Army and our industry partners to improve the fleet‘s performance over many years,” he said.
The TLS extension covering the ARH programme until 2025 includes:
- More extensive aircraft and component deeper maintenance;
- Operational maintenance of aircraft allocated to training;
- Aircrew and technician training including maintenance of training devices;
- Design services including OEM design incorporation;
- Systems and software development and testing;
- Complete parts support including MRO, purchasing, storage and distribution;
- Technical publications; maintenance policy; and fleet management.
“I’m proud that more than 200 full time positions will remain in Australia to carry out this very important work supporting the Army Aviation Australia-wide, including the creation of apprenticeships in Darwin,” he added. “Moreover, our Airbus engineering capabilities continue to expand thanks to this contract, with key software and modifications being developed on Australian soil.”
Mr Mathewson also said that there would be a cycle of continuous improvement as Airbus continues to learn from the extensive operational experience gained by Tiger helicopters in other countries.
“This is an aircraft type that will serve on into the 2040s in the worldwide fleet. “We will endeavour to provide the best armed reconnaissance helicopter capability in Australia over the same timeframe,” he said.
The two-seater ARH Tiger attack helicopter serves as a key asset for the Australian Army. Today, the fleet of 22 ARH Tiger has flown over 30,000 hours, deployed for day-and-night surveillance and fire-support missions. Globally, 181 Tigers have been delivered to Australia, France, Germany and Spain, and have accumulated over 115,000 flight hours to date. First deployed by the French Army in Afghanistan in 2009, the Tiger continues to demonstrate its essential role on theatres of operation as a highly versatile, stealthy, and maneuverable attack helicopter.