The federal government has announced an extension for Airbus Australia Pacific’s through-life support (TLS) contract for the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH).
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Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said the extension of the current support arrangements for the ARH Tiger demonstrated the government’s ongoing commitment to this important Defence capability while providing long-term certainty for hundreds of defence industry employees across Australia.
The ARH Tiger is a two-seat attack helicopter designed to perform a wide range of missions. Faster and more agile than its competitors, the ARH Tiger can detect and engage targets at longer ranges.
The Tiger boasts sophisticated avionics and mission equipment capability. Under the AIR 87 Program, the Commonwealth of Australia ordered 22 ARH Tigers to serve Australia for many years. The ARH Tiger, first introduced into service in 2004, has matured into a critical asset for the Australian Defence Force.
"With an anticipated value of up to $790 million, this contract will see the continued employment of 60 staff in Darwin who provide maintenance and logistics support services at Army’s 1st Aviation Regiment," Minister Pyne said.
Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds said this investment would see the retention of 70 staff at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland, along with a further 130 skilled staff at Brisbane airport who provide commercial, engineering and logistics services.
"As part of this arrangement, there is a provision for Airbus to provide long-term labour to support the continued capability of Army aviation platforms across Australia," Minister Reynolds explained.
The Tiger’s stealthy design, agility and integrated sensor and weapons systems make it ideal for operating in both the reconnaissance and fire support roles. The roof-mounted sight permits high speed on escort missions and gives extreme angular accuracy for day and night target designation.
In heavy fire support roles, the Tiger ARH uses stand-off missiles, capable of defeating all current and projected armoured vehicles, as well as strong points, day or night and in adverse weather.
"It allows Defence to exercise flexibility to continue its work with existing industry partners to support and improve the fleet whilst also meeting the capability requirements of the Army," Minister Reynolds added.