Airbus Helicopters is proposing a cost-effective approach to Australia’s LAND 4503 Armed Reconnaissance Capability that could generate A$3 billion (€1.8 billion) in savings to the Australian Army and taxpayers against the anticipated budget, the company revealed on 30 August.
Airbus supplied 22 TIGER helicopters to Australia – 18 of which were assembled in Brisbane – in 2004 and has actively supported the fleet for 15 years. Cost per flight hour for Australian TIGERs has been reduced by more than 30% and the sortie success rate currently sits above 95%: it is these measures that are acknowledged in Australia and internationally as unmatched, and place TIGER in a compelling position, the company states in a press release.
“TIGER is an extremely agile, effective, and digitally connected armed reconnaissance helicopter […] Since delivery, the Australian TIGER has matured into a fully operational army capability, and is integrated into the combined arms team. It continues to prove itself as an adaptable platform, and is now a key element of Australia’s amphibious capabilities on-board the CANBERRA-class Landing Helicopter Docks […] Airbus proudly delivers a strong Australian industry capability, including more than 260 local staff supporting TIGER,” commented Airbus Australia Pacific Managing Director, Andrew Mathewson.
TIGER serves in Australia, France, Germany and Spain, with 181 aircraft delivered and 120,000 flight hours logged, including over 30,000 in Australia. It has provided support to counter-insurgency operations in Mali, security operations in Afghanistan, and amphibious strike in Libya, operating reliably in the harsh extremes of heat and cold of the desert and in the maritime domain.