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First Multi-Role helicopters accepted into service

18 December 2007

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) accepted the first two MRH 90 Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) at the Australian Aerospace facility in Brisbane today.

Under Project AIR 9000, 46 MRH 90s are being procured to the Navy’s Sea King and Army’s Black Hawk fleets as well as additional air-mobile support.

The on-schedule in-service date milestone is a major achievement in the project with the ceremony attended by senior parliamentary, Defence and industry representatives from Australia, France and Germany.

Head of Helicopter Systems Division, Major General Tony Fraser said the acceptance of the first two MRH 90 helicopters was a critical milestone in the project.

"It will provide our sailors and soldiers with a new troop lift helicopter designed for the demands of modern combat operations over land and from ships at sea," he said.

"It is a tangible result of the extensive work done by many contractors and project personnel in a tight timeframe."

The MRH 90 is the first true fly-by-wire helicopter in the world and is equipped with a Forward Looking Infra Red system for flight in low light and has the same pilot helmet-mounted sight and display as used in the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter. It has a larger cabin than the current troop lift aircraft.

A period of test and evaluation, training and aircraft development will now be conducted, leading to initial operational capability for Navy in 2010 and Army in 2011.