Should France buy the Australian Tiger and NH90 Taïpan helicopters?

The Australian armed forces are today deploying 22 Tiger ARH combat helicopters derived from the HAD standard of the French Light Aviation Army (ALAT), as well as 41 NH-90 MRH maneuver helicopters designated in the country. under the name Taipan. Significant availability problems have led the Australian General Staff to announce, just 2 years ago, the acquisition of 29 AH-64E Guardian combat helicopters to replace its Tigers from 2025 and its intention to replace its Taipan which, too, suffered from a poor organization of the supply chain, leading to significant problems of availability and costs. It is on this subject that Major General Jeremy King, Chief of Staff of the Australian Army, confirmed yesterday that despite the efforts made by France and Airbus Helicopters to convince Canberra to keep its NH90 in use, the Australian army will acquire, from 2025, 40 UH-60M helicopters for an amount of 2,8 billion Australian dollars, or 1,8 billion euros to replace its devices.

Beyond the reasons, it is true sometimes linked to the Australian requirements themselves when the Tiger and Taipan contracts were awarded, having led to the withdrawal of the two European aircraft, to replace them with American helicopters, and the questioning legitimacy of certain Australian defense observers about the relevance of acquiring Black Hawks as the US Army enters the second half of the decade their replacement by the tiltrotor V-280 Valor, offering much greater performance, particularly in terms of speed and range, and in fact better adapted to the reality of the Pacific theatre; it is appropriate, in France, to wonder about the opportunity that would represent the availability on the market of 22 Tiger helicopters and 41 NH-90 helicopters, both close in their configuration to the devices implemented within the ALAT, enough to arm, at a lower cost, 2 additional combat helicopter regiments.

Australian ARH Tiger Helicopter Defense Analyzes | Australia | Russian-Ukrainian conflict
The 22 Australian Tiger ARH will be replaced by 29 AH-64E Gardian from 2025

Entered into service between 2004 and 2010, the 22 Australian Tigers ARH are indeed recent devices, still having a very significant potential, and as said previously, relatively close, in their configuration, to the HAD Destruction Support standard currently being deployed. within the ALAT, with in particular the implementation of the AGM-114 Hellfire 2 anti-tank missile with laser guidance, 70mm rockets and a 30mm GIAT cannon. In addition, because of the difficulties in implementing the Australian logistics plan, these aircraft have flown relatively little on average, and therefore retain significant flight potential. The same goes for the 41 NH-90 MRH, even more recent because they entered service from 2010, and which are similar to the NH-90 TTH Caïman which entered service from 2011 within the ALAT. In addition, some of the Australian Taipans have been adapted for special operations, including a port M134D Minigun gatling machine gun on retractable support and a smooth rope deployment system.

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