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Taipan fleet grounded after helicopter ditches into NSW waters

The Australian Army’s MRH-90 fleet has been grounded after a Taipan multi-role helicopter ditched into NSW waters during a routine counterterrorism training exercise.

The Australian Army’s MRH-90 fleet has been grounded after a Taipan multi-role helicopter ditched into NSW waters during a routine counterterrorism training exercise.

The Australian Defence Force has temporarily paused the training activity and will ground the MRH-90 Taipan fleet while the cause of the incident is investigated.

The helicopter reportedly suffered a loss of power and touched down in waters near Jervis Bay on 22 March.

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All 10 ADF personnel on board were recovered, accounted for, and assessed by medical personnel at HMAS Creswell, south of Nowra, NSW.

NSW Ambulance responded to the incident and two members have been assessed to have sustained minor injuries.

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart said he thanks emergency responders for their quick action.

“Tonight, quick responses from ADF personnel and emergency services and well drilled teams prevented a potential tragedy,” said LTGEN Stuart.

“We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident to determine the cause and ensure the platform remains safe to operate.”

The incident site is being contained by Australian Federal Police and port services personnel.

The shortcomings of the MRH-90 Taipan fleet are well known as it’s retired and replaced in favour of the Australian Army’s recent acquisition of the UH-60M Black Hawk in mid-January.

Helicopter manufacturing company NHIndustries has only recently celebrated the delivery of the 500th NH90 aircraft on 17 March.

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