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HMAS Albatross MRH-90 fleet grounded

A tail rotor vibration has forced the Royal Australian Navy’s MRH-90 helicopters based at HMAS Albatross to be grounded.

A precautionary landing was forced to take place on HMAS Adelaide from an Army MRH-90 a fortnight ago, leading to the precautionary measure of grounding the helicopters, which are flown by 808 Squadron.

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"The MRH-90 aircraft sustained a tail rotor vibration en route to Brisbane Airport," a defence spokesperson said.

"The aircraft captain aborted the mission and returned to HMAS Adelaide for a precautionary landing.

"No personnel were injured during the incident."

Defence confirmed that an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the vibration.

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"While the investigation is underway, the Australian Defence Force has ceased all MRH-90 flying pending further technical investigation and advice," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said no other ADF aircraft had been affected by the temporary cessation.

The Army has described the MRH-90 as “one of the most advanced tactical troop transport helicopters of the 21st century”.

Australia has ordered 46 MRH-90 Taipans, with the first accepted into service in 2007.

Defence describes the MRH-90 as a “fly-by-wire, all-composite construction, troop-lift helicopter with the highest crash-worthy standards. With a large cabin, a rear ramp, weather radar and forward-looking infra-red, the MRH-90 can transport greater loads and carry more troops in adverse conditions”.

The Taipan has a max speed of 300km/h with a range of 800 kilometres.

The full MRH-90 Program for Australia is as follows:

  • 47 MRH-90 aircraft for Navy and Army;
  • the MRH Software Support Centre;
  • a ground mission management system;
  • an electronic warfare self-protection support system;
  • the MRH instrumentation system;
  • other training devices such as aircraft maintenance trainers, aircraft systems trainers, part task trainers; and
  • data, spares, support and test equipment.
HMAS Albatross MRH-90 fleet grounded
MRH90-Taipan-landing-on-HMAS-Adelaide.jpg
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