First of class flight trials of the Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter from the Navy’s LHD amphibious assault ships is planned for the first quarter of 2017, the Department of Defence has confirmed.
“First of class flight trials is planned to be conducted in the first quarter of 2017. Results from this activity and the deck handling trials will provide a basis for establishing the applicable ship-helicopter operating limit for the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter/Landing Helicopter Dock combination,” a Defence spokesperson told Australian Aviation via email on Monday.
Flight trials will follow deck handling trials planned for June, the spokesperson said, when HMAS Adelaide is alongside in Brisbane.
“This aims to confirm that LHD flightdeck markings and aircraft securing fittings are suitable for Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter operations. Additionally, aircraft lifts, mechanical handlers, hangar arrangements and procedures will be assessed for suitability in moving, storing, securing and controlling the aircraft – including associated aerospace ground equipment, weapons, explosive ordnance and role equipment,” the spokesperson said.
“The deck handling phase will also include assessment of aircraft jacking and engine/blade removal procedures. The deck handling trial will also provide an opportunity for training and familiarisation of LHD Air Department personnel with ARH explosive ordnance and deck handling procedures.”
Further, the spokesperson noted: “The trials schedule aims to identify potential ship/helicopter interface issues and seek to establish safe operating procedures and limitations for the combination.”