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30 August 2019
30. August 2019 Helicopters

The ARH Tiger: Delivering on its promise

When it comes to availability, operational capabilities and reliability, the Australian Tiger has taken a decisive step forward

Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters land at RAAF Learmonth after conducting security operations during an Exercise Northern Shield scenario. *** Local Caption *** Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters (ARH) have arrived in Exmouth, Western Australia on Exercise Northern Shield to assist the Ready Combat Team (RCT) conduct security operations in the region.
 
The Tigers, operated by the Darwin based 1st Aviation Regiment, deployed at short notice to respond to a simulated enemy threat. 
 
Exercise Northern Shield involves over 1000 troops from the Army and Air Force. It is occurring in North West Australia from the 19th   24th of September.

Article:聽Bel茅n Morant -聽Read more in聽Rotor magazine N掳116

Photo credit:聽Australian Army

L
ast year the helicopter registered 65% availability and 90% spare-parts availability. But, most importantly of all, it fuelled the optimism of a customer with complete faith in the operational capabilities and reliability of its combat helicopter.

In 2001, the Australian Army ordered 22 ARHs, with the first of the deliveries being made in December 2004. The Australian Tiger was a somewhat different animal to its European brothers, however, on account of its increased armament capability and its resulting complexity, a response to Australia鈥檚 desire for a platform capable of firing both missiles and cannons.聽

A turning point

鈥淭he ARH Tiger is an extraordinary machine, that outperforms anything in its class,鈥 says Andrew Mathewson, AG真人计划 Australia Pacific鈥檚 Managing Director. 鈥淏ut in the first few years the complexity of both the system and the supply process made it an aircraft that was difficult to maintain. The Tiger was unable to show everything it was capable of and, as you might expect, there was quite a lot of discontent in the Army, with some calling for it to be replaced by another helicopter.

Since 2014 with the agreement of a new performance based contract, we devoted all our efforts, both in Australia and Europe to simplifying supply chain performance, improving the design, reliability and optimising our interaction with the CASG and end customer in Army. Above all, though, we took the crucially important step of focusing all our attention and energy on the end user rather than wasting time and effort on contractual engagements that didn鈥檛 really deliver capability to the customer.

An example of this new collaboration is the way in which operational maintenance and deeper maintenance is carried out. Thanks to the close relationship that AG真人计划鈥檚 experts, who know the product inside out, now enjoy with the customer鈥檚 maintenance teams, who have a perfect command of operational needs, the maintenance process is optimised, bringing the best out of both teams.

ARH Tiger in flight

A new era

The improvements made in fleet availability and the aircraft鈥檚 capabilities were quickly demonstrated in military exercises. The Tiger鈥檚 latest notable success came with its deployment of four ARH Tiger aboard HMAS聽Canberra, which contributes to the Australian Defence Force aim of establishing an Amphibious Task Force with the enhanced security provided by the Tiger.

鈥淟ast April, AG真人计划 was awarded an extension of the Tiger through-life support contract until 2025 by the Australian Department of Defence,鈥 says Andrew, looking resolutely to the future. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a show of faith on the part of the customer and it lets us know we鈥檙e on the right path. Our next major challenge now is to prove that we鈥檙e able to keep the Tiger updated and operational through to 2040 by addressing obsolescence problems. The Tiger still has a lot to offer. It鈥檚 the most effective and efficient option for the government, and we鈥檙e going to prove that to them.鈥澛

ARH Tiger: A Pilot's Perspective

 

鈥淓verybody knows the Tiger had a difficult introduction into service, but importantly, the message people miss is that in the past two to three years, we鈥檝e really turned a corner with the ARH. The ARH is ready today; the pilots are trained today to go and to support our troops in operation. And we can do that by day, night, all weather conditions, quite effectively.鈥

-Major Matt Subbs, senior instructor ARH wing, School of Army Aviation

AG真人计划 in Australia

AG真人计划 in Australia

Tiger

Tiger

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