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Australia retires the MRH-90 Taipan fleet

Australia retires the MRH-90 Taipan fleet

According to the latest information, the Australian Defense Force’s MRH-90 Taipan helicopters will not take to the air until their scheduled retirement in December 2024.

Defense Minister Richard Marles announced that the government is already focusing on putting the UH-60M Black Hawk into service. The first Black Hawks arrived in Australia and began flying in September, and the rest were delivered.

The Defense Minister stressed that the MRH-90 was an important capability for the Australian Defense Force (ADF). “I pay tribute to the hard work of the hundreds of people who have worked to get our helicopters up and running and maintaining them. The first of 40 Black Hawks to replace the MRH-90 has arrived and is already flying in Australia. We are focused on getting it up and running as quickly as possible. However “The Government’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of our people. We continue to support the families of the four soldiers who lost their lives earlier this year and the wider defense community.” The Australian Defense Force continues to operate the CH-47F Chinook, Tiger and MH-60R Seahawk aircraft.

Starting in 2025, the new AH-64E Apache helicopters will also enter service in the army. The Defense Minister said that in order to mitigate further impacts on the army’s operations and training, the government is examining the possibility of delivering Black Hawks faster and training personnel faster.

Minister Marles did not comment during his statement on the outcome of the investigation into the disaster of 28 July 2023 when an MRH-90 Taipan crashed near Lindeman Island in Queensland during Exercise Talisman Saber. The four crew members on board were killed.

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However, he said the government made it clear at the time that the two Taiwanese planes, which had been grounded several times previously, would not be allowed to fly until the investigation into the disaster was completed. However, as it stands, it appears that the fleet will be retired from active service prematurely.

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