ATirbus said Thursday that it had been informed by the Australian government of its desire to replace helicopters of European origin, and that it was “disappointed”, three months after the resounding denunciation of a submarine contract by Canberra. Australia “has informed Airbus of its decision to launch a request for military sales abroad to possibly replace the MRH90 in the armed forces,” a spokesperson told Agence France-Presse, partially confirming information from Journal The Australian. “We are disappointed with this announcement, but remain committed to fully supporting the fleet of MRH90s in service in Australia, and our significant presence, more broadly, in the country,” added the spokesperson.
The MRH90, aka Taipan, is the Australian version of the NH90, a multirole helicopter which is in service with the French army under the name Caiman. The aircraft is produced by the NH Industries consortium of Airbus Helicopters, the Italian Leonardo and the Dutch Fokker. More than 440 NH90s of all types have been delivered to 14 countries, according to a count stopped in mid-2021.
A 4.4 billion euros contract
According to The Australian, the government of Canberra decided to stop using the 47 Taipan of its army and navy, and replace them with American equipment, Black Hawks and Seahawks of Lockheed Martin, a contract of 7 billion dollars. Australians (4.4 billion euros). This development comes less than three months after the Australian government caused an acute diplomatic crisis with Paris by canceling a huge contract to purchase 12 French submarines with conventional propulsion for a value of A $ 90 billion (55 Billions of Euro’s).
Australia, instead, switched to US nuclear-powered submarines, as part of a new alliance with Washington and London to deal with growing strategic tensions between the United States and China in the Pacific. .