December 10, 2021
by Gareth Jennings
Australia will replace its MRH-90 Taipan helicopters (foreground) with new UH-60M Black Hawks, the country’s defense minister announced on December 10. (The Commonwealth of Australia)
The Australian military must prematurely withdraw its fleet of NHIndustries NH90 transport and assault helicopters (MRH-90 Taipan in national service) in favor of the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk.
Defense Minister Peter Dutton’s announcement on December 10 will see the Australian Defense Force (ADF) replace its 41 Taipan with up to 40 Black Hawks.
“The performance of the MRH-90 Taipan has been a constant and well-documented concern for [the Department of] Defense, and there has been a significant effort at great cost to try to address those issues, ”Dutton said.
The Department of Defense (DoD) said, “The MRH-90 helicopter fleet did not meet contractual availability requirements and expected cost of ownership prior to its planned retirement from service in 2037. To support the development of Detailed options, the Australian government has requested information from the United States government on the UH-60M Black Hawk as an alternative platform to the MRH-90 Taipan. The options will still be subject to government consideration once all the relevant information is available. “
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