Australia to conduct diagnostic review of army MRH90s

Singapore
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Australia will conduct a diagnostic review of its NH Industries MRH90 multi-role helicopter programme and will report the findings by the end of October.

Another review was conducted in April, said the Ministry for Defence Materiel. This suggested that the Department of Defence (DoD0 should work with Australian Aerospace, the prime contractor, "to implement a remediation plan" for the troubled programme.

The Australian army has accepted just 13 MRH90 helicopters from a 46-aircraft order. Problems have plagued the programme, including engine failure, transmission oil-cooler fan failures and the poor availability of spares.

On 20 April 2010, one of an MRH90's two Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM322 engines failed. Although the aircraft landed safely, the fleet was grounded for three months pending an investigation by the DoD and industry.

In July 2010, the DoD revealed that the failure resulted from the compressor blades fracturing after coming into contact with the engine casing. It established a new inspection regime and other measures to prevent another such incident.

The army's 13 aircraft are being used for testing and initial crew training.