The gateway will be used as the primary vehicle for potential suppliers to register expressions of interest (EOI), respond to specific work packages as they are released and support pre-qualification activities.
Under LAND 2097 Phase 4 the helicopters are to be proven commercial or military off the shelf, optimised for operating in dense urban environments, and capable of being rapidly deployed by air transport in ADF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.
Craig Purry, Hawker vice president government business Asia Pacific, said, "The launch of this gateway will continue to support Hawker Pacific’s commitment to growing Australia’s sovereign defence industry capability base."
These helicopters will primarily support air assault of small Special Forces teams and should be capable of being rapidly re-configured by fitment of proven, ISR equipment and weapons systems.
Purry added, "Hawker Pacific are committed to identifying and engaging with small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and Indigenous businesses, which have capabilities to support upcoming work packages and demonstrate a real value proposition to the project."
Defence is planning to acquire a fleet of up to 16 light helicopters to enhance the aviation capability of Australian Special Operations Forces through increased mobility, direct air support and ISR as part of LAND 2097 Phase 4.
The Defence request for tender (RFT) established that the helicopter should be a proven design (already in service either in commercial or military capacities), optimised for operating in dense urban environments and capable of rapid deployment by air transport in the Royal Australian Air Force's C-17 Globemaster strategic airlifters.
The successful helicopters are intended for use by the Australian Army’s 6th Aviation Regiment, based at Holsworthy, south of Sydney, and will complement a squadron of larger MRH-90 Taipan helicopters. More information regarding the program, including tender applications, is available here.
EOI are open until 5 August 2019. More information about Hawker Pacific’s Special Operations Helicopter program is available online at hawkerpacific.com/SOH.