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.
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.
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.”
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.