Six retired Australian Army UH-1H Iroquois helicopters have been reserved for sale to historical organisations, Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare has announced.
The helicopters will be offered to organisations “in Australia that have strong historic connections with the aircraft and can maintain the aircraft as static displays,” Clare said, adding that it was “important that we preserve them to ensure their contribution to our military heritage is not forgotten.”
The Australian Army retired the last of its Iroquois in 2007 after a distinguished career dating back to the mid 1960s. “During the Vietnam War, the helicopters provided vital support to troops on the ground. They were used for casualty evacuations, patrols and resupply,” Clare said. “The Iroquois’ final deployment was to Sumatra in Indonesia to provide assistance following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.”
The sale of the aircraft is dependent upon approval by the US State Department, and it estimated that the cost of demilitarising and preparing the aircraft for display will be about $100,000 each.
Eleven Iroquois have already been allocated for display at locations around Australia, and an announcement about the tender for the six follow on aircraft is expected to be made in the coming months. A further five Iroquois will be retained by the ADF as training aids.