On January 15, Canberra announced the victory of the American helicopter AH-64E Apache Guardian to replace the European Tiger ARH helicopter fleet by 2025. This decision, we are all eagerly awaited, puts an end to a most strained collaboration between the army and the Australian authorities and Airbus Helicopters, the Australian Tigers never having achieved the operational objectives set by the initial contract. Australia plans to acquire 29 AH-64Es to replace its 22 Tigers, as part of a designated Land 4503 project for an amount of $ 3,4 billion, including aircraft, a stock of parts, ammunition and simulators, as well as training and maintenance items. For the Australian armies, the objective is above all to increase interoperability with American forces, while tensions continue to grow with Beijing.
This is naturally a disappointment for Airbus Helicopters and the Tiger program, which is now reduced to 3 users, the 3 member countries of the program with Germany, Spain and France. But the difficulties encountered by Australia in the implementation of its helicopters do not call into question the confidence of Europeans in their aircraft, the latter having very largely proved its worth in combat in Afghanistan, Libya or Mali, at the hands of pilots from the Army's Light Aviation. And in the field, the Tigers HAD of the ALAT have nothing to envy of their American counterparts, whether it is in terms of reach, firepower, maneuverability or resistance.
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