Photo courtesy of Bidgee / CC BY-SA 3.0 AU
The Australian Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger fleet of 22 has “not yet delivered the original capability expected by the Australian Government,” according to a 64-page Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report released Thursday.
The report cited 76 capability deficiencies regarding operational requirements, 60 of which were deemed “critical” by the Defense Dept. ANAO citations also included obsolete or near-obsolete systems and that only 3.5 aircraft out of 16 on the operational fleet “were serviceable at 10 a.m. on any given day in 2015, against a target of 12 aircraft,” according to the report.
The department acknowledged the report and agreed to both ANAO recommendations of implementing arrangements to adopt lessons learned from project reviews of contract and sustainment arrangements, and assessing the value-for-money in further investment in the Tiger fleet for a short period of performance against other alternatives.
Australia is one of four countries that operate the Tiger aircraft, which has an international fleet of 119. The ARH is important to the Australian Army because of its combat capabilities: it can undertake escort missions and provide support to covering force, helicopter attack and recovery missions. The 2001 acquisition and through-life support contract was worth more than $1.1 billion.