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Australia: NH-90 helicopters definitively grounded

Advance by one year due to recent fatal accident

The Government of Australia has announced that the Australian Defense Force's entire fleet of NHIndustries MRH-90 "Taipan" multi-role military helicopters have been taken out of service. The reason for this choice is linked to the recent fatal accident involving an aircraft engaged in an exercise in Queensland, where four people on board lost their lives.

"The helicopter has been an important asset to our country and defense forces. I recognize the hard work of the hundreds of people who have dedicated themselves to acquiring, operating and maintaining the aircraft", explained the defense minister, Richard Marles.

"Given that we would have had to retire the helicopter at the end of next year anyway -he added- there will be no possibility of seeing the Taipans flying again. Having said that, we need to put the Black Hawks into service as quickly as possible, this is our objective: the first 40 have arrived and are already flying to Australia". 

The aircraft was in the process of being phased out of the force's fleet by December 2024. The MRH-90 helicopters had been grounded since July 2023, after a "Taipan" crashed off the coast of Queensland. The accident had in fact raised numerous concerns about aviation safety linked to the airworthiness of the aircraft.

On the topic, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency