Airbus Helicopters has formed Team Nightjar by partnering with more than 20 Australian firms for Project LAND 2097 Phase 4.

The consortium will offer the 4t class Airbus H145M helicopters under the project.

The multi-role helicopter will support the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Special Operations.

Team Nightjar comprises Kinetic Fighting, QinetiQ Australia Cablex, Kratos Australia, Microflite, PREDICT Australia, Cyborg Dynamics, Deakin University, DEWC, ECLIPS, Ferra Engineering, Helicopter Logistics, and Helimods.

The remaining members are Safran Helicopter Engines Australia, University of Technology Sydney, Varley Group, Seeing Machines, Varley Rafael Australia, Rusada, TAFE NSW, Tagai Management Consultants, Sigma Bravo, and Toll Helicopters.

The Commonwealth of Australia has requested the delivery of training solutions, indigenous participation, rapid design and enhancements of delivery to support Australia’s defence capability.

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By GlobalData

The consortium will generate more than 170 jobs opportunities and boost the local economy by delivering A$250m ($174m) in benefits.

During special operations, the light twin-engine aircraft will provide the MRH90 Taipan with improved mobility and situational awareness.

According to Airbus, the helicopter’s compact size will allow operations in dense urban environments. It can be rapidly deployed using a C-17A Globemaster.

Currently, the H145M is in service with military forces of Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Serbia and Thailand.

Airbus Australia Pacific managing director Andrew Mathewson said: “The Commonwealth is seeking a proven, mature and highly reliable off-the-shelf platform and robust support systems.

“The H145M that we are proposing is the latest member of the H145 family, which has flown over 5.9 million hours with more than 1,400 aircraft in service globally across civil, parapublic and military domains. It is well supported by a mature global network.

“The H145M is an exemplar platform for light special operations and is a solid match for the special forces’ requirements, with proven capabilities for no-fail, high-readiness missions.”