The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has signed an agreement with Australian Aerospace and its industry partners the Defence Minister says will “help put the MRH90 helicopter program back on a positive footing”.
The agreement “re-baselines the project’s schedule and settles a number of disputed program issues”. The MRH90 program is three years late and has experienced a number of technical and commercial challenges and is currently on the government’s Projects of Concern list. Australian Aerospace is developing and implementing a range of technical fixes that will ensure the MRH90s being delivered to Army and Navy are reliable and effective.
The agreement also covers a number of commercial and contractual measures that are aimed to make the MRH90 more affordable and increase confidence in the revised delivery schedule. Included in the agreement is the delivery of a 47th airframe, at no additional cost, to be used as a live training aid for Army and Navy aviation technicians who undergo MRH90 training at the Army’s Aviation Maintenance school at Oakey, Queensland.
Despite the extensive delays and disputes, Defence Minister Smith said: “Overall, this is a good outcome for Defence and Australian Aerospace. Both parties have worked collaboratively, within the Projects of Concern framework, to reach this positive outcome.
“With continued good progress, the MRH90 program will be considered for removal from the Projects of Concern list by the end of 2013,” Smith added.