Australia is working to mitigate risks involved with its delayed Australian Aerospace/Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter programme, under which 22 aircraft and associated training and support systems will be delivered to the nation's army.

The Tiger's introduction to Australian service has suffered a two-year delay, due to problems with the Franco-German programme that have affected aircraft and system certification, simulator development and aircrew training.

Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation halted project payments earlier this year after the Tiger failed to achieve its contracted initial operational capability target (Flight International, 10-16 July). Australian Aerospace is working hard to achieve this milestone, which the Department of Defence says requires the delivery of 12 aircraft, enough qualified crews to form one squadron and the availability of appropriate support services.

© Australia DoD
Seven Tigers have so far been delivered to the Australian army

Australia has so far received seven aircraft and four of its six ground training devices, with the fleet having logged over 2,000 flight hours, mainly in support of training. Twelve aircrew, including six instructors, have completed training, with another six instructors and two test crews to complete qualification by year-end.

Australian Aerospace expects to complete Tiger deliveries by mid-2009.

Source: Flight International