Airbus has delivered the first two of 12 MRH90 helicopters equipped for special operations to the Australian Army’s 6th Aviation Regiment, and is looking to expand its support for the Special Forces with a new platform.
The remaining MRH90 helicopters are expected to be progressively received by Army to replace the Black Hawk by the second quarter of next year under a program that is a high priority for the company, said Andrew Mathewson, managing director of Airbus in Australia Pacific.
On its website, Airbus says the MRH90 is a fly-by-wire, all-composite construction, medium-lift helicopter with a rear ramp, weather radar and forward-looking infra-red.
Being a true multi-role machine, the MRH90 can undertake troop transport, search and rescue, special operations and counter-terrorism missions.
Airbus says it is capable of carrying two pilots, two loadmasters and 18 combat troops up to 900km at speeds of up to 300km/h (160kts).
Meanwhile, Airbus is offering the H145M battlefield support helicopter for the LAND 2097 Phase 4 Special Operations Rotary Wing Capability project that will deliver a light deployable helicopter capability.
Mathewson assumed the role of managing director in early January.
“It’s a great honour to be selected by the company to continue with my passion, which is delivering capability for the Defence Force,” he said, speaking to the media at the 2019 Avalon Airshow on Wednesday.
“I’m incredibly impressed with the company, and also the opportunities that sit outside the helicopter realm, particularly in the areas of space and commercial aircraft.”