The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has taken delivery of its 15th MRH90 multirole helicopter from Australian Aerospace at its production facility in Brisbane as part of the MRH90 helicopter programme.

The MRH delivery is the second in the last two weeks since the programme was placed on the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) projects of concern list last month.

Australia is purchasing a total of 46 helicopters under its AIR 9000 phase two, four and six programmes to replace the Army 5th Aviation Regiment’s UH-60 Black Hawk, but to date only 13 have been delivered and the project was also delayed for up to two years.

The helicopter programme initially suffered a series of problems, including a severe engine failure, leading to further delays, following which a Deed of Agreement was signed between the company and DMO to overcome the issues and continue helicopter deliveries.

Based on the NH90 tactical transport helicopter, the MRH 90 is a 10t-class, fly-by-wire, all-composite-construction, medium-lift helicopter designed to conduct troop transport, search and rescue, special operations and counter-terrorism missions in adverse conditions.

The helicopter is powered by two RTM 322-01/9 engines, has a full-composite, crashworthy fuselage and can accommodate a crew of two pilots, two loadmasters and 18 combat troops for up to 900km at speeds in excess of 300km/h.

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The company will also deliver a helicopter software support centre, ground mission management system, full-flight and mission simulators, spare parts, aircraft systems trainers and a ten-year sustainment programme.