Tiger reaches 2,000 flight hours milestone

Tiger ARH A38-001 clocked 2,000 flight hours on May 11. (Airbus)

An Australian Army Tiger ARH Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter has become the first Tiger in the global fleet to reach 2,000 flying hours.

Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dave Lynch, commanding officer of the School of Army Aviation, Tiger A38-001 reached the milestone on a flight from the Army Aviation Centre Oakey to Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera on May 11.

The first of two Tiger helicopters delivered to Army in December 2004, A38-001 is the only one in the Australian fleet that is fitted with flight-test instrumentation that enables data collection for aircraft and fleet management under Australian conditions, and for weapons performance and flight envelopes.

A38-001 at its handover ceremony to the Army at Oakey on December 15 2004. (Paul Sadler)

As such A38-001 has taken part in a number of firsts including 70mm rocket firings on the Cazaux test range, France in 2004, Hellfire missile firings on the Woomera test range in 2005, Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket firings on the Woomera range in 2016, and the first of class flight trials on the amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra earlier this year.

A38-001 fires a Hellfire missile during trials at the Woomera test range in 2005. (Defence)

The last of 22 Tigers was delivered in 2011.

“The Tiger aircraft is a potent weapon system that we have worked hard to mature to a point where it delivers the required effects on time and on target,” said LTCOL Lynch.

“The aircraft itself has best-in-class agility and manoeuvrability, which enhances our ability to employ the precise weapon effects to fight and win in either the land or amphibious environment. This agility also makes it an absolute dream to fly, as it has crisp control response and truly carefree handling characteristics, enabling greater focus on the mission.”

A38-001 fires flares during countermeasure dispensing system trials at the Port Wakefield proving ground in 2009. (Defence)

Tony Fraser, managing director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific, was on hand to witness the arrival of the Tiger at Enoggera after the milestone flight.

“On behalf of all the Airbus employees here and in Europe involved in the development, manufacture, assembly and support of Tiger, we congratulate Army on this significant achievement,”  Fraser said.

A38-001 takes off from HMAS Canberra during first of class flight trials in March. (Defence)


  1. Trash Hauler says

    Maybe it’s just me, but why does the Commanding Officer have to take the glory for this milestone? Congrats anyway on 2000 hours

  2. Mick181 says

    Great just as long as you don’t want to communicate with the Crew, then everything is hunky dorey. Pointless having the most agile Helicopter out there armed with great weapons if it cant do it’s basic job of being an ISR asset. Useless piece of cr…p till they get it to Datavlink into the rest of the ADF.

  3. Mia says

    2000 hours in 12 years? So that’s an average of 166 hours a year. Many commercial Airbus Helicopter operators will fly that in a month…

  4. Richard says

    Have a look at the Alert 5 article today which reports an operational rate of 25.6% for the French Tiger fleet.

  5. Mick181 says

    Richard that article also says 41% for the NH-90 fleet, neithet sounds brilliant.

  6. G4george says

    Definitely not money well spent, the people who signed off on these should be outed and banned from further decisions on purchasing defence equipment

  7. Raymond says

    Mia, Bill – Tiger ARH A38-001 clocked 2,000 flight hours on May 11.

    An Australian Army Tiger ARH Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter has become the first Tiger in the global fleet to reach 2,000 flying hours.

    Not 2,000 hours for the whole fleet combined!