Airbus Australia Pacific has been awarded an extension to its contract for the provision of in-service through-life-support (TLS) to the Australian Army’s Tiger ARH.
The five-year extension will see Airbus continue to manage the capability out to 2025. “With an anticipated value of up to $790 million, this contract will see the continued employment of 60 staff in Darwin who provide maintenance and logistics support services at Army’s 1st Aviation Regiment,” Defence Minister Pyne said in an April 6 release.
Minister for Defence Industry Senator Linda Reynolds said the extension will see the retention of 70 staff at the Army Aviation Training Centre in Oakey, Queensland, along with a further 130 skilled staff at Brisbane airport who provide commercial, engineering and logistics services.
“As part of this arrangement there is a provision for Airbus to provide long term labour to support the continued capability of Army aviation platforms across Australia,” she said.
The TLS work includes aircraft and component deeper maintenance, operational maintenance of aircraft allocated to training at Oakey, aircrew and technician training including maintenance of training devices, design services including OEM design incorporation, systems and software development and testing, complete parts support including MRO, purchasing, storage and distribution, and technical publications, maintenance policy, and fleet management.
“Airbus is committed to ensuring the success of the Australian ARH Tiger fleet, and we have worked closely with the Australian Army and our industry partners to improve the fleet’s performance over many years,” Airbus Australia Pacific Managing Director Andrew Mathewson said in a separate statement.
“I’m proud that more than 200 full time positions will remain in Australia to carry out this very important work supporting the Army Aviation Australia-wide, including the creation of apprenticeships in Darwin. Moreover, our Airbus engineering capabilities continue to expand thanks to this contract, with key software and modifications being developed on Australian soil.”
In the meantime, the Tiger ARH has embarked on its first overseas deployment, with the transport of four aircraft to RMAF Subang in Malaysia by RAAF C-17s to be embarked on HMAS Canberra for the second half of that vessel’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 task force deployment.