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Defence confirms MRH 90 minor rotor head damage during LHD trials

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 6, 2015

An MRH 90 during first of class flight trails from HMAS Canberra. (Defence)

Defence has confirmed that the MRH 90 troop transport helicopter encountered an issue relating to the starting and stopping of its rotors during recent first-of-class flight trials from HMAS Canberra.

A spokesperson for Defence told sister publication Australian Defence Business Review that the aircraft had been undertaking first-of-class trials aboard HMAS Canberra, the Navy’s first of two new LHD amphibious assault ships. The trials, conducted during March and April, were designed to test the limits required to develop the routine operating envelope for the helicopter in relation to the LHDs.

“Although the MRH 90 rotor head is performing to specification in most situations, an issue related to starting and stopping rotors under certain environmental conditions was encountered,” the spokesperson said. “The incident resulted in minor repairable damage to the main rotor head of the aircraft; there were no crew injuries.”

The MRH 90 is continuing to operate off other Royal Australian Navy ships while the matter is being investigated, the Defence spokesperson added.

The issue first came to light in a June 29 story in The Australian which claimed, citing sources, that the LHD design “served to accentuate wind conditions that affected the helicopter rotors at slow speed, making it difficult for pilots to quickly start and stop the rotors on deck”.

Comments (5)

  • BH


    It would be interesting to know if there are any major differences between the NH90 & MRH90 with regard to the rotar design for sea ops. Surely NHI would have envisaged the possibility of these aircraft operating off large through deck vessels with high wind over the deck characteristics. Was it ever a part of initial testing or are our LHDs significantly different because of the ski jump..?

  • Adam


    I believe the biggest difference is just the name the Aussie’s have given it. I could be wrong though (and probably am).

  • Jason


    The MRH90 is essentially identical to the German NH90 TTH. Perhaps you’re thinking of the NH90 NFH which is the marinised version designed to be embarked aboard frigates & destroyers etc.

  • BH


    There are the two versions, troop transport and naval.

  • stuart



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