The Royal Australian Navy is preparing to dump a troubled fleet of European-built MRH-90 Taipan helicopters, replaced by US-made Seahawks in a 1.3 billion deal.
- The US Defense Security Agency has approved the sale of 12 Sikorsky Romeo Sihak helicopters to Australia.
- The helicopters are expected to eventually replace the Navy’s six Airbus-built MRH-90s.
- The Australian fleet of MRH 90s was first acquired in 2006 but has suffered from poor availability since entering service.
ADF earlier this year Grounded all 447 Taipei helicopters used by the Navy and Army Due to safety and maintenance concerns.
Overnight, the US Defense Security Assistance Agency revealed that it had approved the sale of 12 Sikorsky Romeo Sea Helicopters to Australia, eventually replacing six Navy Airbus-built MRH-S0s.
“The State Department is committed to approving a potential foreign military sale to the Australian Government for an estimated cost of H 986 million for the MH-60R multi-mission helicopter, related defense services, and related equipment,” the statement said.
MRHS’s Australian fleet was first acquired in 2006 but has suffered from poor availability since entering service, forcing the military to recently hire interim helicopters for training and non-combat transport roles.
Parliament was told last year The door on the MRH-90 was very narrow When the troops were descending, and a third round of therapeutic work on guns was underway.
Last year’s Force Structure Plan, which was published in July, “predicts the need for support and logistics to expand and rationalize the helicopter fleet in line with expectations for large naval operations.”
Simultaneously the timeline chart showed a project for the logistics helicopter to run from 2025 to 2031 and was equivalent to १ 1 billion to बिल 1.5 billion, corresponding to the costs quoted in the nightly U.S. approval.
The Australian Navy already operates 24 MH-60R Seahawks based near HMAS Albatross, Nowra, and this next purchase would mean a normal fleet of 36 aircraft.
Shadow Assistant Secretary of Defense Pat Conroy has claimed that the latest sale exposes the government’s mismanagement of large military acquisitions.
“The Howard government’s .7 3.7 billion decision to acquire MHR-90 and the current coalition government’s eight years of mismanagement seem to have cost taxpayers 1.3 billion!” He said on social media.
“The party that provided the billion-dollar Cisprit defeat continues to abuse defense.”
Despite the US announcement, Secretary of Defense Peter Dutton has yet to comment on the 1.3 billion purchase of Seahawk helicopters.