Page 32 - Australian Defence Magazine - July 2018
P. 32

Who is killing Tiger?
Despite anecdotal reports Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) is a potent battlefield capability which has earned the respect of both its crews and the land force it supports, it would seem someone senior in Defence or Government,
or perhaps both, wants to kill the program.
THERE is no doubt that the Tiger has had a troubled past in ADF service, the helicopter really was still in the developmental phase when it first entered service in December 2004 and it has taken a long time to mature and achieve the required rate of effort.
While this rate of effort has still not reached the desired level, significant im- provements have been made, with a lot of hard work from Airbus Helicopters and its subcontractors, in partnership with Army and the Capability Acquisition and Sus- tainment Group (CASG).
New weapons have recently been fielded and anecdotal reports are that Army is very happy with the capability at the user level, when it works.
But we say anecdotally, because it would seem that someone in Defence or Govern- ment, or both, is actively suppressing any good news stories regarding Tiger. ADM’s request to speak with subject matter experts from Army and CASG for the preparation of this article was denied by Defence in lieu of the promise of written answers to pre- pared questions.
While a comprehensive list of questions were provided – with a request for a detailed response to each – the eventual response was received not only too late for the June issue of ADM, but comprised of a scant few sentences (145 words in total) which provided very little information. Further requests to both Defence and Government have elicited no response to date.
Tiger was singled out in the 2016 De- fence White Paper for criticism, the only platform to be treated in this manner, and
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