Page 6 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
P. 6

Defence releases Tiger replacement RFI
A Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter fires its rockets during a live-fire exercise.
tional history as part of Indo-Pacific Endeav- our 2019. The deployment aimed to develop the Tigers’ interoperability with the Canber- ra class LHDs in preparation Joint Project 2048 achieving final operating capability.
News that the Tiger replacement is on the way may come as good news to some in Defence and government, who as ADM has previously reported appear to be suppress- ing good news stories around the platform. Three likely contenders for Land 4503 in- clude: Airbus’s Tiger Mk.III, which draws on combat experience in Afghanistan and Mali; the Bell AH-1Z Viper, a US Marine Corps attach helicopter that is specifically marinised by design for amphibious op- erations; and the Boeing Apache, which is reportedly due to be in service with the US Army until 2060.
Airbus recently won a contract extension to provide through-life support to the Tiger fleet, including aircrew training, design ser- vices, software development, complete parts support and technical publication.
DEFENCE has issued a Request for Infor- mation (RfI) for a platform to replace the Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Heli- copters (ARH) under Land 4503.
The RfI specifies a timeline out to IOC in 2026 with 12 airframes and FOC in 2028 with 29 helicopters. 24 will be based at one location with five used for training.
The squadron of 12 intended for IOC in- clude a deployable troop of four aircraft, con-
tinued force generation of four aircraft, and an initial training element of four aircraft.
“The acquisition strategy aims to reduce operational and in-service risk, and to al- low the Australian Army to rapidly achieve operational milestones for the replacement armed reconnaissance capability, whilst achieving value for money,” the RFI states.
The ARH Tigers recently deployed over- seas for only the second time in their opera-
Bids open for Hunter class prototypes
MORE than 150 businesses from around Australia recently converged on Adelaide for a procurement update that launches the process to bid for work during the Hunter program’s prototyping phase, which com- mences next year.
The prototyping phase is a crucial stage in the program where all the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be tested and refined before construc- tion on the first frigate commences in 2022.
Starting in December 2020, five ship blocks will be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in SA. During this phase Austra- lian businesses that supply minor equip- ment, materials and services can bid for an estimated $20 million in contracts across two specific supplier categories.
In one of those categories, known as “cat- egory D”, the Hunter program is committed to achieving 100 per cent Australian suppliers.
“The Hunter program is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian suppliers through supply contracts and ini- tiatives to nurture and grow small-to-medi- um sized businesses,” Managing Director ASC Shipbuilding Craig Lockhart said.
The prototyping phase is a crucial stage in the Hunter class program.
“This is a genuine opportunity for our team to help Australian businesses bid for upcoming contracts to supply equipment and materials for the prototyping blocks, like scaffolding, pipes, steel, deck coverings, cables and insulation, as well as services, like outfitting and painting.
“By maximising opportunities for local suppliers through contracts for supply and initiatives to nurture and grow small-to- medium sized businesses, we are raising the Australian defence industry’s ability to compete for and win domestic and interna- tional maritime work.”
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6 | August 2019 |

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