Italian manufacturer Agusta has boosted its bid to supply Australia with a next-generation armed reconnaissance helicopter by setting up new headquarters in the country.

Agusta will use its Canberra base to press the claims of the A129 Scorpion in competition for a 26-aircraft contract through Australia's Air 87 programme.

The Australian Department of Defence has shortlisted the Scorpion along with Boeing's AH-64D Apache Longbow and the Eurocopter Tiger.

Bell Helicopter is also understood to be back in the contest after successfully challenging an earlier decision to exclude the AH-1Z Super Cobra.

Agusta is teamed with Australian defence contractor, the Tenix Group, in its bid. All the competing teams will participate in the final request for tender stage, due to kick off next month.

Source: Flight Daily News