18 December 2008
MRH-90 medium multi role helicopter (photo : Militaryphotos)
The first Australian assembled Multi Role Helicopter (MRH90) has been formally accepted at the Australian Aerospace facility in Brisbane.
“Under Project AIR 9000 a total of 46 MRH90s are being procured to replace the Navy’s Sea King and Army’s Black Hawk fleets as well as provide additional airmobile support to Army,” Greg Combet, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement said.
“This is the fifth MRH90 to be accepted. The first four aircraft were manufactured in France, air transported to Australia and are now based in Townsville with the 5th Aviation Regiment for training.
“The acceptance of the first Australian assembled MRH90 is a result of the extensive work done by the DMO, many contractors and project personnel within a tight timeframe,” Mr Combet said.
“Acceptance of the first Australian assembled MRH90, in addition to recent acceptance of the fourth aircraft from France, will enable an increase in the training rate for aircrew in Navy and Army.
“The MRH 90 is the first fly-by-wire production helicopter in the world; it is equipped with a Forward Looking Infra Red System, an advanced weather radar and has the same helmet mounted sight and display as the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter,” Mr Combet said.
“It has a larger cabin and greater endurance and speed than the current troop lift aircraft in ADF service.”
The first two aircraft were accepted on 18 December 2007. A program of test and evaluation, training and aircraft development is being undertaken to prepare for the critical milestones of Initial Operational Capability for Navy in 2010 and Army in 2011.
The MRH90 Software Support Centre was also accepted this week.
(Contact Air Land and Sea)