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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

19 February 2016

Airbus Helicopter Makes Hourly Progress with ADF’s TIGERs

Airbus Helicopters is working intensely to bring the ARH TIGER up to Full Operating Capability (FOC),” Philippe Monteux, senior vice president and Head of Region, SE Asia Pacific for Airbus Helicopters, said at Singapore Airshow 2016.

RAAF ARH TIGER.

The manufacturer is awaiting the outcome of the Australian Governments defence White Paper, which is due of publication by early March. It may decide the future of the troubled attack helicopter. Said Monteux: “We have been working on a pay by the hour performance. We have seen improvement and the Army is currently much more satisfied with this commitment and the way we are now managing the contract.” Last year the ADF’s TIGERs flew around half of the 6,000 hours the Army had expected.

The appointment of Anthony Fraser as managing director of Airbus Group Asia Pacific is one of the cornerstones to Airbus Helicopters’ solution and to keep the ARH TIGER within the Australia Defence Force (ADF). Fraser left the ADF where he had been the head of the Helicopter Systems Division within the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). Not only does he have extensive experience of the programme from the customer perspective, he was also the commander of 16 Brigade, Army Aviation, when the first of the new Tigers arrived back in 2004. The final aircraft was delivered in 2011 with FOC now expected some time later this year.

Australia has joined with what Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter before the identify merge with the Airbus Group) used to call its ‘home countries’ - France, Germany and Spain - to plan a mid-life upgrade (MLU) for the TIGER, resulting in the TIGER Mk3. This would be completed by 2019.

Andrew Drwiega