Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems position AH-1Z for potential Tiger replacement?

AH1Z USMC Hero for print
The US Marine Corps is acquiring 189 AH-1Zs.

Bell Helicopter and BAE Systems Australia have signed a teaming agreement that positions them to offer the AH-1Z Viper as a potential early replacement for the Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH).

Signed at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday, the agreement would see BAE Systems Australia provide maintenance and support services for the AH-1Z in Australia.

Under the teaming agreement, BAE Systems will play a significant role in providing support for Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper attack rotorcraft. This will include overseeing helicopter maintenance and sustainment, and supporting training for future customers,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“This relationship aligns our interests and pursuits as we work together to pursue opportunities to strengthen and support the capability and posture of the Australian Defence Force,” Lisa Atherton, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter, said in the statement.

Noted Steve Drury, BAE Systems Australia aerospace director: “We are looking forward to working closely on opportunities with Bell Helicopter as its sustainment and support partner in Australia.” 

There is currently no formal project to replace the Army’s 22 Tiger ARH helicopters, which first entered service in 2005 and were acquired under the AIR 87 project at a cost of $2 billion. But the Tiger, which has been beset by sustainment issues that have limited its flying rate of effort, has yet to achieve Final Operational Capability (which was originally planned for June 2009 and had been rescheduled to January 2016), while issues connecting its Eurogrid datalink to other ADF assets and networks have limited its operational utility and seen the acquisition of an interim datalink capability.

The latest ANAO Major Projects Report into defence acquisition programs notes that: “the ARH Tiger Helicopters project faces significant capability risks and issues in relation to delivering the required Rate of Effort (flying hours), and technological obsolescence caused by delays in delivery, which impact future use.”

The teaming indicates Bell and BAE are positioning themselves should a planned mid-life upgrade project for the Tiger – AIR 87 Phase 3 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Capability Assurance Program (ARH CAP) – morph instead into a replacement for the Franco-German helicopter. According to the last Defence Capability Plan – which was published in 2012 and is finally due to be replaced by the new Integrated Investment Program, which is expected to be released alongside the forthcoming Defence White Paper by the end of next month – AIR 87 Phase 3 has a provisional budget of $1-2 billion.

That budget range would not be far off the costs of a Viper acquisition – in September 2012 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval of a possible sale of 36 AH-1Z Vipers to South Korea in a US$2.6 billion package that also included Sidewinder and Hellfire missiles and spare engines (South Korea instead acquired the Boeing AH-64E Apache), while last April the sale of 15 Vipers plus Hellfire missiles and spare engines to Pakistan was valued at US$952 million.

But a new acquisition would also need to budget for facilities upgrades and training systems such as simulators and training aids.

There is some irony in positioning the AH-1Z as a Tiger replacement, as the Viper was overlooked in preference for the Tiger during the original AIR 87 evaluation process in 1999. Like the Tiger the Viper too suffered from development delays and was not declared “operationally effective and suitable” until October 2010, with Initial Operating Capability (IOC) following in February 2011 (Tiger IOC was achieved in April 2010).

However, since then the Viper has matured in service, would be available as a relatively low-risk and possibly rapid – should the US Marine Corps be willing to give up production slots – acquisition under the US Foreign Military Sales program, and offers a fully-marinised platform designed to operate off the US Navy’s amphibious assault ships.

Bell was quietly pitching the Viper’s ship operating capabilities at the Avalon Airshow in February 2015.

“The AH-1Z has been built to be resistant to corrosion; its engines are the same as those fitted to the MH-60R maritime helicopter; it has folding blades; there are heavy-duty tie-down points; and its systems are shielded so as to be ‘ship-safe’,” Bob Carrese, regional vice-president for Asia-Pacific, told Jane’s Defence Weekly.

“The AH-1Z is already doing all of the missions that the ADF is doing, and more. It can carry 16 Hellfire plus two Sidewinder, and has the cost-per-flight-hour figures that the ADF has been looking for.”

The AH-1Z – dubbed the Zulu Cobra – is a development of the earlier AH-1W, and is one of two elements of the USMC’s H-1 upgrade program along with the UH-1Y, which is a development of the UH-1N. Both aircraft feature General Electric T700 engines and composite four-blade main rotors, plus new sensors and avionics. The USMC is acquiring 189 Vipers (37 rebuilt from AH-1Ws, the rest new-build machines) for delivery through until 2022.

Bell_BAE
BAE’s Steve Drury and Bell Helicopter’s Lisa Atherton at the Singapore Airshow on Tuesday.

 

Comments

  1. Jason says

    Would be a big call to replace the ARH Tiger, but if the price is right it might be too hard to resist.

  2. Jackspeak says

    Why don’t we just go and raid the boneyard for all of the airframes that were used during Vietnam, Then the Army will be happy.

    Ask 725SQN how well FMS is going for their fleet…….

  3. adammudhen says

    Seems crazy that this is being talked about, but is it time to cut our losses, hope for some kind of resale value (France, Egypt, Spain?) and just ‘bite the bullet? It was the best solution to the Super SeaSprites, perhaps it is again for the Tiger. Maybe mark this down as a sort of armed helo beta test. If we plan on getting the most out of the Canberra class, we really should have assets that can make the most of them and unavailable Tigers doesn’t seem to be it. Some day soon, “90’/00’s ADF Helicopter Procurement Decisions” will make a fascinating book!

  4. mick181 says

    This rumour has been flying around various forums for the last year or so, with some claiming that a replacement by Vipers or Apaches would be no more expensive than the planned Tiger upgrade. It is utterly ridiculous that FOC has not been reached by now. And these same 2 countries are trying to sell us Submarines and/or Frigates. When will we learn?
    The Canberra will be operating Marine corp Vipers at Rimpac this year, it would be interesting to know how they go. This program is no better than the Sea Sprite fiasco.
    And if we operate it any where France or Germany disagrees there will be no spare parts. By most reports i have read the Army wanted Apaches & new Blackhawks not Tigers & NH-90s. But thanks to politicians we whent European because they would be assembled in Australia. The Tigers will still be in good nick so we could get a decent 2nd hand price on them and not being American there would be more markets(no Hellfires though).
    Current users would take them as spare parts.
    Operating off the Canberras is only a part of the requirement though, how well would Vipers operate in hot & high conditions like Afghanistan or deep in the deserts of the middle east or even the Australian outback. I don’t know how much Howard took into account operating of the LHDSs, certainly not as much as the ADF chiefs.

  5. Pete says

    Not much in the boneyard worth talking about. Last visit the old frames were failing corrosion tests and lining up with the UH1 frames to be crushed. We need new built aircraft sooner than later. Might still be able to get good coin for the Tigers in Europe

  6. Clinton says

    Apaches and upgraded Blackhawks.. Should have been done 10 years ago.. All battle tested and proven..

  7. Harry says

    At first I thought this article was much ado about nothing,… considering the army would prefer Apaches (only God knows why it wasn’t selected in the first place – sigh)

    But it is clearly: Another example of reckless and risky approach to platform and weapon acquisition also totally divorced from seeking synergies in weapons procurement, – i.e. the army bought a help that can’t fire hellfires but the navy bought a helo that can? Something is seriously retarded at the DMO. DMO bought: Army – bad helicopters; Navy – late and expensive AWDs; and RAAF – potentially the biggest white elephant in the room if the yanks can’t finish the JSF B3F on time (because otherwise congress could in theory still kill it, this wouldn’t be a president either). We could sell them back to the French – they are seeking more Tigers for extra squadrons at the moment – the DOD better get on this.

    The potential for the Zulu Cobras to operate off LHDs is interesting. I would have thought a more capable Apache would be better (they certainly work in the heat of the Ghan. How are they in the maritime?

    Just 2 points mick.
    1) At twice the price it would definitely be worse than the sea sprite affair. And,…
    2) France and Germany wouldn’t be able to deny weapons and services to Australia because of a little thing called a MOU (this thing forced Sweden to supply us ammunition for the Gustav during the Vietnam War), that is as long as someone in the DMO/DOD remembered to get one!?

  8. Randal McFarlane says

    Pilatus refused to supply parts for our Porters and we used the back door to buy parts from the
    Fairchild Porter program.

    Army helo program. Make a bad decision and stick with it! Navy got rid of Sea Sprites and wound up with their helo of choice . On time and on budget and no risk …. Hello

  9. Dale says

    Interesting…..can someone please advise how many bad helicopter types were procured when Air Force controlled helo’s, before they were forced to give them up? …..versus the current and very recent past!

  10. Steve says

    The French have been operating Tigers in war zones since 2009 – Afghanistan now Africa. They have just ordered another 7 because of the need for the type.

    Germany too has operated Tigers successfully in Afghanistan,

    The French reportedly had about 90% availability rates in Afghanistan. An earlier account is that French Army technicians are much better trained to resolve problems than our early ground crews, and maybe the French have a can-do attitude which engineering rules stifle here in Australia,.

    Eurocopter, now Airbus, manages, to support their commercial types here in Australia quite well and Defence has recently selected EC-135 for HATS..

    So something does not stack up!

    I expect at least some of the problem is

  11. mick181 says

    The final decision on all major procurement is with the politicians not the ADF or DMO, don’t forget both the Tigers & MRH-90s where assembled here in Australia thus creating jobs and making the pollles popular. No votes in buying Apaches or Blackhawks built in the USA.

  12. G4george says

    No reason we could build Apache helos here, the RAF got the license to build them for Augustawestland, bureaucrats stuffed up again.

  13. mick181 says

    It’s easy to maintain 90% availability when you hog all the spare parts and leave nothing for export.

  14. the road runner says

    The Pollies have screwed over the ADF for far to long…. Navy wanted Baby Burkes ..pollies chose F-105…Navy wanted a Corvette back in the 90s with a helicopter …pollies cancelled(and should have cancelled the Seasprites) the corvette and bought alloy patrol boats and Sea Sprites …. ADF wanted Blackhawks as a replacement to existing Blackhawks… pollies chose MRH-90s…ADF was offered 2nd hand Cobras from the USA back in the 90s… pollies said no and then 15 years later chose ARH.. Can anyone join the dots here ….. One thing the USA dose well ,is support its equipment and actually gives Australia Mates rates regarding alot of kit. They go Above and beyond in helping the ADF… that not many people in the public see….Look at all our other purchase of late that have gone pretty smooth when we purchase off the USA…. C-17,Chooks,F-18 Supers ,Romeos,Abrams… As an Aussie tax payer im sick of being screwed over by Europe and Australian Pollies !

  15. says

    One thing about the ADF is that it will never produce a Billy Mitchell or a John Boyd , our boys are over payed and under worked and they know it , next best thing to money for nothing. So irrespective what insane instructions the politicians give we can guarantee complete and utter subservience from the leaders of the ADF , its not like they will take the initiative and do the job they have been charged with when they can sit back and be good Wilhelm Keitel’s ensuring they keep easy money and many perks without having to rock the boat.

  16. Marty says

    The Army will be forever grateful to the Navy for SeaSprite fiasco. It took the focus off the Army how badly the ARH program was turning out.

    The Navy was finally able to ‘Man up’ and cancel the Sea-Shite helicopter program that was implemented for a requirement that no longer existed (OPV). While the Romeo is not the gold plated solution, it’s a great capability increase on time and budget. The Army need to do the same with ARH and ditch it and its data link that can’t talk to anyone else. If we can get a deal around the same cost as a mid-life upgrade we would be crazy not to take it. Especially since the Viper is already marinised and operating successfully of US ships..

    Bring on the Viper!

  17. Jason says

    A few points…

    ARH is a good helicopter, the gun is second to none, it’s fast and nimble, and the sight is also very good. Most of its issues are due to commonality with US systems such as its Eurogrid datalink, some stores clearance validation work, hot/high performance, and the well-publicized ongoing sustainment problems.

    Sean – pretty pointed comments there which have little to do with the story. As an ex-ADF officer I find your comments to be in poor taste and just plain wrong compared to the vast majority of folks I served with. If you’re in the ADF yourself, you clearly have issues and are in the wrong forum.

    road runner – the recommendations that went up to government from Army (and from the 2-star Army officer leading the project office in DMO) was for ARH and MRH, not Black Hawk and Apache. There is certainly a Black Hawk mafia within Army (mostly ex SOF), but to lump all of Army with that opinion is incorrect. Second hand Whiskey or Tango Cobras would have been a retro step in the 90s.

    As for the French and Germans operating Tigers,.. yes, but that is/was with French and German forces, not in coalition ops. We don’t operate alone…

  18. says

    This is not the first time that the AH-1 family has been considered for ADF Service. The first time was way back in 1970.

    http://adf-serials.com.au/3a16.htm

    On March 10, 1970, the Minister for Defence announced a comprehensive helicopter acquisition program for the RAAF and the Australian Army which was to include 84 Light Observation Helicopters (LOH), 42 Utility Helicopters (UH) and 11 Helicopter Gunships.
    With the withdrawal of Australian forces from Vietnam the LOH purchase was pared back to 75 Kiowa (subsequently reduced to 56) and the UH order to 14 UH-1H Iroquois (7 in 1970 for 5 Sqn, 2 replacements in 1971 for 9 Sqn in Vietnam and a final 5 delivered in March 1974) plus 12 Ch-47C Chinook Medium Lift Helicopters.

    The 11 helicopter gunships were intended to improve firepower and battlefield surveillance capabilities for the Australian Army and a budget of$13.2m was set asside for acquisition. A final decision on the type of helicopter to be selected was planned to be made in April 1970. The two contenders were both from the Bell stable in the form of the AH-1 Cobra and the the armed UH-1 Iroquois (similar to the Bushranger configured Hueys that 9 Sqn had operated successfully in Vietnam).

    In December 1970, the AH-1G Huey Cobra was selected at a program cost of $12.4m and the A16 serial prefix was allocated to the type for RAAF service. It is probable that these aircraft would have been diverted from the U.S. Army production batch serialled 71-20983 to 71-21052 delivered in 1973.

    A new helicopter unit (8 Sqn RAAF) was to be formed but it had not been decided whether the Cobras would equip 8 Sqn at Townsville or be shared with 9 Sqn at Amberley.

    As it turned out, the RAAF AH-1G order was cancelled on October 7, 1971. The Army tried to reverse the cancellation in support of the RAAF given the experience gained in Vietnam. However, it was not to be and the RAAF and Army soldiered on with the UH-1H Bushranger until a dedicated type was selected decades later in the form of the Eurocopter Tiger ARH.

    Around 1992, there was an rumour circulating around RAAF Amberley that there had been some Cobras spotted sporting RAAF roundels. These may have actually been visiting U.S. aircraft that had been “zapped” with kangaroos!

  19. Craigy says

    @ Jason – well said

    As for Sean, I also found your comments distasteful as an ex RAAF officer and agree with Jason’s summation of your comments.

  20. mick181 says

    Thank you Jason i will withdraw my statement about Apaches & Blackhawks being the preferred option, it shows you can’t believe everything you read in even the best publications or forums.

  21. the road runner says

    Cheers Jason i was always under the Impression that the ADF wanted Blackhawks over MRH. I did not state anything about Apache in my previous post.In hindsight a Predator drone could have accomplished the Armed Recon role and added time on station.Of course its dis advantage would be ,it could not launch off a ship or would not be installed with a cannon.I agree the 30mm Cannon on the ARH is a major advantage ,so is the materials used in the construction of the Tiger. The Europeans did tell porky pies in regards to operating cost and OTS capability of the Tiger.

    Initial Material release was in 2009
    Initial Operational capability was planned for 2007 but IOC was granted in 2010 ,due to contractual delays
    Final Material Release was planned for 2012 but was signed off in 2014
    Final Operational Capability was planned for 2009 and i think was signed off in Jan of 2016?The DOD stated that the delay was because of the reduced rate of effort of the Aircraft.

    The ARH Project started in 1999 and FOC was(?) in 2016 and we are due for a mid life update in the next few years.The cost per flight hour has been said to be very expensive for the Tiger but i have not seen any costings in this regard.The ARH might be a great helicopter but 17 years from the start of project to achieving FOC is a very long time IMHO.

    As Most of the ADF major equipment is based off US tech ,and the US is our major partner who we have fought with in coalition environments ,i feel that having US equipment cuts down on added costs in protecting IP rights and integrating IP firewalls on European equipment.

    Cheers

  22. says

    The Tiger helicopter is marinised by design.

    France has operated its Tigers from boats in several conflicts and countless exercises since several years already.
    The Spanish Army and Navy have also started working together recently.

  23. stuart says

    AH 1Z definatly worth consideration ,,,,
    sean comment re ADF ….. distasteful to say the least … did you serve ?? …… cos I don’t recognise that as ADF culture at all ..

  24. Ben says

    Wasn’t the AH-1Z, or some similar derivative of that airframe, under consideration at one point during the original Tiger procurement project?

    I can’t understand why we would replace a potent, capable, mid-90s product (that admittedly seems to have had a few operational teething issues) with a Vietnam-era helicopter that’s had so many bits added to it that it’s starting to resemble a Meccano set more than a combat aircraft.

  25. Jason says

    Ben – yes, the AH-1Z was considered along with Apache, but Tiger was selected. The Zulu is not your grandmother’s AH-1 Cobra…the basic airframe may be similar but the new capabilities are more than just add-ons, it’s basically a whole new machine based on a proven concept.

    Dane – the Black Hawks are tired. They would need a whole remanufacture to get them anywhere near new and, as the US discovered, it’s cheaper and quicker to build a brand new UH-60M than to reman a UH-60A/L. But the Black Hawk is not suitable as an ARH, it’s not nearly nimble enough and doesn’t have the sensors.

    Flex – correct, Tiger is mostly marinised, although there have been corrosion issues with some of the dynamic components.

    road runner – Predator is not suitable as an alternative to ARH, it cannot hover or turn on a dime, it needs a runway along way behind, and thus is nowhere near as flexible. The ADF is looking to buy Reapers under a separate project, but the political/ethical battle to arm them is yet to be had.

  26. mick181 says

    With the exciting new technology being devoloped in the S-97 & V-280 projects.. I would doubt the ADF would wanrt to buy new helicopters to replace what are fairly new platforms in the next 10-15 years.
    I can see the Pentagon look to devolop a complete family of Rotor wing aircraft to enter service post 2030 to replace the Blackhawks,Seahawks,UH-1y,AH-64 & AH-1Z, This family would probably be based on either the S-97 or V-280 technology demonstrators currently being built. The ADF will be watching this project closely with a view to maybe replacing the current helicopter fleet post 2030.

  27. Jackspeak says

    I often wonder how the French and the Germans can operate the same kit and send into battle (ARH and TTH,)

    Yet Australia continues to test and retest already proven by the OEM.

    Accept what you got and make it work to the best of its ability. If it means taking a risk, then take it and own it. fix it over time.

    Battles aren’t won by using the perfect item for the perfect situation. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.

  28. Bluejam says

    For a long time we heard that the Australian Tiger program had leap frogged the French program by 18 months. Australian had intergrated the Hellfire II AGM-114 missile and from our success with overcoming many of the challenges with the airframe the Spanish decided to go ahead and purchase the Tiger and took our adivice and uprated the engine for hoter climates as we realised was required and schedule for future upgrades.

    The French abandoned their two versions of the Tiger and made them more like the Aussie Tigers. Soon the French and Germans deployed their Tigers to war, but Australia said we are not ready, yet the French and Germans had great success, Australia even sent our experts to be embedded with the French in the combat zone to observb how the French applied, supported, opperated and used the Tiger. Somehow, Australian Tigers are not ready, (even with a manufacturing plant and service centre in Brisbane which also make parts for the global supply chain) cant get the servicability, cant get the spare parts, cant get the training and flying hours?

    What is happening with this aircraft type? Sure the Cobra and Apache have advanced as helicopters but they are still based upon very dated designs with lots of upgrades and add ons. The CBRN capability, compostite fibres, ballistic protection, basic marinisation, crash worthness, advanced crew ejeciton, sensor fusion would seriously put Tiger ahead yet somehow, the Aussie Tiger appears rather incapable!

  29. the road runner says

    @ Jason … Armed Recon can be achieved by a number of systems in the 21st century. CAS and recon has been done by drones very well for over a decade. I think your missing the point i am making. Persistence and time on station are very valuable assets to have in an armed recon platform. This is not my point of view ,but are the views of a number of Australian defense professionals. If a drone gets shot down, there are no pilots who can be paraded around for propaganda reasons

    An Armed recon helicopter can only stay airborne for a number of hours (6 hours approx) Compared to a Reaper that can stay in the air for a day or 42 hours depending on what version is purchased.Both Reaper and ARH have positive and negative points…

    People need to understand the defense budget is only so big. When cost blow out for a capability/platform ,money is taken from another part of the defense budget to balance the books.If the ADF had a money tree,this would not be an issue and we could have all the toys needed to defend this country. Alas,this is not the case ,and any project that blows out will mean less helicopters,ships,tanks for the ADF.

    Cheers

  30. BJ says

    @Jason

    I’m sorry but where did you get your information on Tiger and MRH-90 being selected on anything but political merit? The program recommended Blackhawks, but was asked to consider the fact the MRH-90 would be constructed here, and preserve the jobs at Australian Aerospace in Brisbane due to be lost when the ARH build finalised. Based on such a request and its wording, the recommendation was changed to MRH-90… which is a complete failure. The money spent on a helicopter which is inferior to the Blackhawks they are due to replace is astonishing.

    They have minimal ground clearance. The ramp isnt strong enough. Neither is the floor. You cant have door gunners covering disembarking troops if you want to use the side doors as well. It suffers with serviceability issues, and nobody I’ve spoken to from Townsville has had anything good to say about the platform.

    As for the ARH, we have spent so much money modifying an inferior aircraft to try and turn it into a AH-64, we might as well BUY the AH-64E!

    Its time for the Army to man up, and have its SeaSprite moment. Retire the ARH and MRH90 early, buy 48 UH-60M’s to reequip 5 Avn Reg, 12 MH-60’s to reequip 171 sqn, and buy the Navy 12 MH-60S for the VERT rep role, while reequipping 1 Avn with 24 AH-64E’s. 4 more CH-47F’s would complete the replacement.

    Yes it will be painful and embarrassing. But you will end up having a better capability. It will work in on coalition operations a lot better, tie in with the US supply chain. The army will have 2 mini-CAB’s of 12 AH-64E, 24 UH-60M and 6 CH-47F able to seamlessly fit in with US operations. It will also work in with the planned expansion of the regular army to include a 4th Plan Beersheba spec brigade.

    It would be expensive in the short term, but in the long term it will work near cost neutral. Selling the ARH and MRH fleets and ground equipment will go some way to funding it, as well as long term savings tying into the much larger spare parts supplies for the American aircraft. The aircraft cost would also be manageable taking advantage of big US multi year contracts.

    Having spoken to numerous army aviators, this is how they hope things pan out. Lets hope the white paper says the same

  31. mick181 says

    For anyone who may have missed it the ABC & the Australian are saying the DWP will be released tomorrow 25/2. Could be very interesting, but cant see a lot of new aviation platforms in it (Tritons & possibly Reapers)that have’nt already been ordered. Would be surprised if our battlefield copters are rightly or wrongly replaced, it would be a massive political call. Love your fleet BJ but just can’t see it happening. And don’t forget the Tigers & 90s where ordered by a coalition government.
    By world standards our Defence Aviation fleet is fairly young, with much of it delivered after 2000 and everything else already have replacements on the way. The next decade will be a lean time for ordering of new platforms as the Growlers,F-35s,C-27s,PC-21s,P-8s & Tritons are delivered. Aviation has had a great run over the last 10 -15 years but the Navy needs new ships & the Army new AFVs($100bn worth).

  32. Jackspeak says

    BJ,

    Hold onto that 1990’s dream buddy, though I suspect the European dream machines are here to stay. I personally think we have the perfect Army helicopter mix. All three types work well together and provide the best bang for buck available now and in the future.

    Your dream fleet may be in service and look great, but has been idenfied for replacement now by the US, Not sure how you would justify that to bean counters when parts become obsolete in 10-15 years time ( Speak to the Bravo guys about that!), Once the blackhawk replacement is chosen and in production, they aren’t going to support our fleet, esp. when they want to keep their fleet going….
    I think that the Romeo guys will find this out the hard way…

  33. mick181 says

    Looks like the Tigers will be gone and replaced by 2025, The only options in that timeframe are Apache Es an ageing design or Viper Zs an ancient design. The Tiger will probably be out of production by then. New lt helis for the SFs, the Airbus H-145 would have to be a strong favourite due to its being basically a larger H-135.

  34. Ben says

    The conjecture is over regarding the early retirement of the Tigers. Straight from the white paper. The government intends to replace the 22 ARH with and I quote “new armed reconnaissance capability” from the mid -2020s.

  35. Col Bishop says

    The Aussie Tiger was not purchased because it was the best in class, it was brought because the contract allowed it to be assembled here in Brisbane. Again we brought a design and not off the shelf.