(Defence). . After protracted development and a troubled service entry, the Australian Army’s Airbus EC 665 Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) has only recently started hitting its straps and providing its promised capability – one which has been nearly two decades in the making. “The 2016 Defence White Paper allocated $500-750 million to address the current capability requirements of the Tiger platform with a view to replacing the platform mid next decade, at a cost of some $5-6 billion,” the ANAO report noted. But such a scenario may bring the opportunity for another potentially innovative solution into play, one that may provide some aircraft and/or systems commonality benefits to the ADF. The new helicopter will complement the larger machines currently operated by Army’s 6 Aviation Regiment (6Avn) at Holsworthy in Sydney, which is currently transitioning from the S-70A-9 Black Hawk to the Airbus MRH 90 Taipan. Comment: Factor in humans to make drones sound... 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The other option for Army to consider is to revert to its original plan to upgrade the Tiger’s systems beyond just addressing obsolescence issues so it can continue in service until a more capable replacement such as the successful FARA or MUX program solution is available and has matured sufficiently for export. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) for Military Applications, Hydraulic and Electrical Winches for Trucks and Vehicles, Military Equipment Handling and Transportation Services, 3 September 2019 (Last Updated September 3rd, 2019 12:34). The exercise achieved the first use of the Tiger helicopter providing intimate direct fire support with Hellfire missiles, rockets and 30mm cannon in advance of assaulting troops, and a rate of effort from 5 Avn Regt not seen since the early days of Interfet in 1999. Weapons include precision-guided APKWS and Hellfire missiles, and an integral 20mm cannon. To reach more stories like this, become a member here. that further analysis would be undertaken to develop options in the lead up to Gate Zero for the Tiger mid-life upgrade”. In addition, one instrumented aircraft is assigned to Oakey for development work and to supplement the training A letter signed by Germany, France and Spain, whose defence forces use the Tiger helicopters, urged Australia not to replace them. Airbus claimed that the new Tiger platform proposal will deliver savings of around $A3bn ($2.01bn) for the Australian Government. In 2008, Australia purchased 22 Tiger ARH attack helicopters that were celebrated by military-industrial enthusiasts and investors as identical to "the latest Apache model, but using later airframe technology and with different role optimizations." This would maximise flexibility and operability of the platform and the ADF during the 2020s. The Airbus Helicopters ARH Tiger might not have gotten much love from the Australian Army of late, but the attack helicopter was a very welcome sight … Viper seems the most suited to ADF it has same GE engines as SeHawks it’s suited to ops off the LHDs and is used by the Marines now and still being built. (Sikorsky), The Bell V-247 Vigilant UAS, a possible contender for the US Marine Corps MUX project. The Tiger is underpowered by comparison, but has a longer range. The Tiger’s future seems sealed. The US Marine Corps’ MAWTS-1 is a unit dedicated to the development of aviation tactics, and has an electronic warfare Spectrum Warfare Department to fold EW into the Marines’ biannual Weapons and Tactics Instructor course. This is a significant watering down of the previous $1-2bn AIR 87 Phase 3 ARH CAP plan which had envisaged capability and performance enhancements, and life extension measures for a projected life-of-type into the 2030s. When asked on the sidelines of the 2019 Avalon Airshow about these positive statements and the encouraging direction in which the Tiger capability had been heading in recent years, Army’s Director General Aviation BRIG John Fenwick told Australian Aviation: “The White Paper is very clear, we need to start preparing to replace the aircraft in the mid 2025s.”, “Clearly, we are still watching the platform very closely and we are seeing improvements in it,” BRIG Fenwick said. Both of these aircraft are the latest developments of very mature systems, with many hundreds of each type in service with the US and other allied nations, including in our immediate region. It has pulled the entire Army aviation capability into delivering theatre enabling, network centric, joint effects for the Joint Force Commander. Australia has issued a request for information (RFI) for 29 airframes to replace the Australian Army existing Tiger attack helicopter. Airbus introduced the tandem seat Tiger helicopters to the Australian Army in 2004. Both are excellent. “The Tiger no longer just delivers tactical transactions. It’s not a great time for Australia to have to replace the Tiger with both Apache E and Viper fast approaching the end of their production runs unless further orders are received and their next Gen successors not available till the early 30s at best. The proposal was announced on … Airbus Australia Pacific managing director Andrew Mathewson said: “Tiger is an extremely agile, effective, and digitally connected armed reconnaissance helicopter. MRH 90 Europe: Utility helicopter TTH: Tactical Transport Helicopter 40 The Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) is a two-seat, attack helicopter that performs a wide range of missions. (Defence). The company proposed its Tiger platform as a ‘cost-effective’ solution for Australia’s Project LAND4503 Armed Reconnaissance Capability. This story about the Australian Army’s Tiger helicopter first appeared in the June 2019 edition of Australian Aviation. The ANAO report also found that the helicopter continued to suffer from lower than expected serviceability rates, and that it faced growing obsolescence issues. It is fast and agile with the ability to detect and engage targets at long ranges, and can easily coordinate and control combined arms teams. “It has been operational in our Armed Forces for several years. Around 181 Tiger helicopters have been delivered to France, Germany, Spain and Australia. It’s happening.”. Defence should conduct a thorough analysis of the value-for-money of investing further in the Tiger, pending the introduction of a replacement capability.”. Army currently has another manned aviation program underway – the LAND 2097 Phase 4 light special forces support helicopter which is planned to enter service shortly before the planned Tiger replacement. Back in 2001, Australia opted to buy the Eurocopter Tiger instead of the US Apache but now Boeing is pitching the latest generation Apache, the AH-64E, as a potential Tiger replacement. Rocket fire: a Tiger unleashes on targets during Exercise Chong Ju. Regardless of that analysis, a like-for-like replacement of the Tiger by another attack or armed reconnaissance helicopter may not be the end result of Defence’s deliberations, with the IIP proposing that “Defence will invest in a future armed reconnaissance capability to replace the Tiger, which could include manned or unmanned systems or a combination of both, to be introduced from the mid-2020s”. The Australian Army currently operates two squadrons – 161 and 162 – each of eight aircraft with the 1st Aviation Brigade (1Avn) at the Robertson Barracks in Darwin, and a training detachment of four aircraft based at This would give some breathing space to consider the development of FARA and its suitability. Several of the likely LAND 2097/4 contenders – Bell with its 407GX/GT or 429, Airbus with the H145M, and Boeing with its AH-6i Little Bird – offer armed versions of these aircraft with missionised systems, high performance sensors, and stub wings or pylons with forward-firing precision guided weapons. Tiger UHT multi-role fire support helicopter. Australia has joined France, Germany and Spain in planning a mid-life upgrade (MLU) for the Tiger ARH (attack and reconnaissance helicopter) made by Airbus Helicopters… OCCAR had tried throughout 2016 to get a commitment from Australia to join the Mark III development effort, but this has seemingly been in vain. There are also enhanced fire-control systems with maritime modes to identify and target vessels at sea or in the littorals, Link-16 datalinks, and a new ground-fire acquisition system which can identify muzzle flashes from small arms, cannons and rocket-propelled grenades, and automatically direct return fire from the aircraft’s onboard 30mm cannon. “It is now modernised with next generation weapons, digitised connectivity, revolutionary tactics with unmanned aerial vehicles, and interoperability with the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and our allies. Five of the new helicopters will be used for training purposes, while 24 will be stationed at a single location. Both these attributes talk to the RPDE report recommendations. If Defence is looking at replacing the Tiger with another manned helicopter, there are really only two options available which would provide a similar capability while addressing many of the identified interoperable deficiencies experienced with Tiger, these being the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian, and the Bell AH-1Z Zulu Cobra, or “Viper”. In the mean time moderate upgrades worthwhile to keep it going until FARA is available and bedded down a bit more. The concept emerged amid ongoing delays to the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift plan and a requirement to keep the AH-64 capable well into the 2030s and possibly beyond the type’s current planned withdrawal by 2040. Boeing estimates the Compound development will provide 50 per cent more speed. The new helicopters under the Land 4503 project will replace the Australian Army’s Airbus-manufactured Tiger ARH fleet. Like FARA, MUX is likely to be at least a decade or more away from entering service, let alone being available for export. No more conjecture. The company also highlighted that the cost for each flight hour of the Tiger has been cut down by over 30%, and the sortie success rate stands at over 95%. (Defence), Without wanting to pre-empt any replacement decisions, the ANAO quoted the RPDE report as saying: “Alternate platform options should be considered. (Defence). It identifies 76 “capability deficiencies,” of A successor is being sought for operations as soon as 2025-2026 with some twenty-nine new units to be procured. The 64-page report details a range of issues. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. The ANAO report then notes that in 2013 the then Defence Material Organisation (DMO – now CASG) advised the then Defence Minister that while “no in-depth analysis of the costs of acquiring the Apache had been undertaken since the initial tender process for AIR 87 Phase 2 in 2001; [and that] the figures identified in the 2013 [RPDE] report were ‘not considered reliable’; . An Australian Army Tiger fires its 30mm cannon during a combined arms live-fire activity as part of Exercise Chong Ju 2019 at Puckapunyal Training Area, Victoria. In July, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) issued a request for information (RFI) for the purchase of 29 new armed reconnaissance helicopters (ARH) for the army. . Recommendations on the timings for both programs will be considered at Gate Zero”. The US Marine Corps is running a similar program, the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Expeditionary, or MUX. This story first appeared in the June 2019 edition of Australian Aviation. The USMC aims to issue a request for information to industry early next year, with the ambition of trialling operational capability as early as 2026. Australian Army ARH Tiger Armed Reconaissance Helicopters operating in conjunction withHMAS Canberra. The Apache is better in mountainous regions as it has a higher service ceiling. Tiger UHT multi-role fire support helicopters have an Osiris mast-mounted sight from SAGEM, with infrared charge-coupled device (IRCCD) camera and laser rangefinder. Two Apaches from the United States Army’s 6th Cavalry Regiment at a joint exercise with Australian forces. In 1986, the development programme was effectively cancelled due to spiralling costs; it had been officially calculated that supplying the German forces with an equivalent number of US-produced McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apacheattack helicopters would have been a considerably cheaper … Originally designed as a heavy attack helicopter to defeat Soviet heavy armour in Europe, the Apache’s latest iteration adds improved endurance, interoperability with unmanned systems, and the ability to engage maritime targets. fleet, and an additional aircraft is assigned to 1Avn to cover deep maintenance. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. July 2019 - The Australia military is actively seeking a replacement for its fleet of twenty-two Tiger ARH attack helicopters currently in service. (Defence). Just for future reference. Airbus Helicopters has formally proposed its Tiger attack helicopter for the Australian Army’s future armed reconnaissance helicopter requirements. It’s poor at high altitude/ high temperature/ high humidity areas such as our near neighbours, it has a poor range for off-shore or land-to-ship operations, cannot do SE Asian special recovery operations in the heat/ height/ humidity with the payload required…. John Much has been written about the delays and capability shortfalls experienced by the ARH program, with developmental issues, groundings, spares shortages and sustainment gaps, as well as capability and performance shortfalls variously attributed to the program, some of which will be described below. Dubbed the AH-64E Block 2 Compound, the development features enlarged and permanently attached wings, a new engine exhaust arrangement, a larger vertical tail fin, and a rear-mounted “pusher” propeller, all of which are designed to give the Apache greater speed and range compared to conventional models. The Compound Apache sounds interesting but like the F-15X, unless the US DOD puts significant effort into its development and that comes at the expense of next Gen platforms it’s not going to happen. … A couple of immediate items to be addressed under ARH CAP is the addition of newer Collins ARC-210 radios to replace older systems which will soon no longer be supported and to better integrate with ADF and allied systems, and the replacement of the aircraft’s fuel tanks which have suffered from corrosion. Our Tigers deliver precision lethal effects in training to more soldiers of more battalions and regiments of our own and other friendly nations Army’s and Marine forces than ever before. This is below targeted readiness of 12 aircraft. “This is no longer the system we acquired,” he added. It says it requires at least 16 helicopters for urban special forces (SF) operations, four of which can be deployed at a time rapidly via RAAF C-17A transport, and made ready to fly within 30 minutes. In 1984, the French and West German governments issued a requirement for an advanced multirole battlefield helicopter. Interestingly, the ANAO report referred to a 2013 report by Defence’s Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation (RPDE) organisation which found that upgrading the Tiger was a “high-risk activity” and that replacement alternatives should be considered. Australian government auditor slams Tiger attack helicopter FlightGlobal ^ | 02 SEPTEMBER, 2016 | GREG WALDRON Posted on 09/02/2016 12:07:10 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki. To cover the gap post 2025, the ADF could use the LAND 2097/4 selection and increase the number to 24-30 units as additional attack variants such as the A/MH-6M Little Bird (Killer Egg). Thus there is a potentially a six or more year gap where no dedicated manned armed reconnaissance or attack platform of US origin is available to the ADF if the 2025 Tiger retirement date is adhered to. “The Tiger is a sophisticated and highly effective combat system,” they said. Tiger 1 Australia bought its Tiger ARH attack helicopters only eight years ago, and now it wants to scrap all 22 of them. endurance than the AH-64D. 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