Army helicopter fleet update

The Australian Defence Force’s MRH-90 Taipan helicopters will not return to flying operations before their planned withdrawal date of December 2024.

The Government remains focused on the introduction into service of the new fleet of UH‑60M Black Hawk helicopters. The first three Black Hawks have arrived in Australia and commenced flying in September, with remaining Black Hawks continuing to be delivered.

The Australian Defence Force will continue to operate its CH-47F Chinooks, Tigers and MH‑60R Seahawks. Together, these helicopters will continue to provide a robust and ready aviation capability to the Australian people.

From 2025, the new AH-64E Apache helicopters will also be introduced into service for the Australian Army.

To help mitigate further impacts on Army’s operations and training, the Government has been exploring options to accelerate the delivery of Black Hawks to Australia and for aircrew training with our international partners.

The MRH-90 Taipan workforce is highly skilled and Defence is working with industry partners to ensure they are supported through the capability transitional period.

Today’s announcement does not presuppose or any way suggest the outcome of the investigations into the tragic incident on 28 July, where an MRH-90 Taipan impacted waters near Lindeman Island, Queensland during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

As the Government made clear at the time, Defence would not fly this platform until investigations into that incident were complete.

The advice provided to Government has outlined these ongoing investigations are likely to continue well into 2024.

Defence image An Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan from the 5th Aviation Regiment lands as part of air mobility operations with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment on Exercise Brolga Run 23 at Townsville Field Training Area, Townsville, Queensland.

Public media release

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