APACHE AH-64E OUSTS TIGER

Army is getting Apache AH-64E helicopters!!!

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds announced this morning that the Australian Army would begin to receive new Apache AH-64E helicopters in 2025 – just four years from now.

“Army’s armed reconnaissance capability will be strengthened following the selection of Boeing Apache Guardian to replace Army’s armed reconnaissance helicopter from 2025,” Minister Reynolds said.

EDITOR’s NOTE (which usually sits at the bottom of the page, but I can’t wait that long):
I nearly choked on my coffee when I saw this press release in my inbox this morning!
First of all, it had a banal headline deliberately designed not to attract attention – with the gobsmacking news that just about everyone wanted to hear ‘buried’ 14 words deep into the first paragraph (obviously, I fixed those ‘errors’).
Second is the fact that, while a replacement project was announced less than two years ago, so little has been said (officially) about this – maybe the second-most lambasted capability after submarines – that I had all-but forgotten it was even a thing.
Third – did I mention the project was launched 18 months ago? – making this one of, if not
the shortest turnarounds in Defence acquisition history!
Fifth – there’s no mention of how many helicopters we’ve suddenly decided to buy – though 29 is the rumour – seven (a whole squadron) more than the Tigers they’re replacing (while this has yet to be confirmed, rumour is good enough for me right now).

 

Senator Reynolds said Defence considered a number of helicopters against key criteria of proven ability, maturity and an off-the-shelf operating system.

“AH-64E Apache Guardian is equipped with improved sensors, communications suites, attack capabilities and improved survivability.

“The Apache Guardian is the most lethal, most survivable and lowest risk option, meeting all of Defence’s capability, through-life support, security, and certification requirements.

“By pursuing a proven and low-risk system offered by the Apache, Defence will avoid the ongoing cost and schedule risk typically associated with developmental platforms.

“Lessons learnt from issues with the ARH Tiger and other rotary wing projects had informed the strategy to seek a proven, mature ARH replacement capability.”

She said this new ARH capability would strengthen Australia’s armed reconnaissance force to better shape our strategic environment and deter actions against our national interest..

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

28 thoughts on “APACHE AH-64E OUSTS TIGER

  • 19/01/2021 at 12:48 am
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    just getting off topid, and from a “civvies” point of view.
    I’ve lived in Townsville for decades, seen the development of Lavarack, when there was only one viable bridge over the Ross River; take that out, and the Barracks/Base was totally isolated.
    Then the Blackhawk disaster; for months we very rarely saw one in the sky. Suddenly there is a crisis, and urgent specialist night-training is “on”; one full daylight training session, then the night op, with first gen night flying optics, into a full-scenario high-risk situation.
    Who was responsible for the various parts of this criminally negligent (?) situation? Not rank-and-file service personnel, I’d bet. Political/bureaucratic minds?
    The final insult was last year, when the local (Labor) council flew the QUEENSLAND flag from the roundabout, near the Blachawk memorial, on a most important National day.
    Some folk are surprised by my attitude to government/bureaucracy; should be obvious., really…

    Reply
  • 17/01/2021 at 3:23 pm
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    Quote: “By pursuing a proven and low-risk system offered by the Apache, Defence will avoid the ongoing cost and schedule risk typically associated with developmental platforms.”
    Well who woudda thunk that! LMFAO!…a decision that should have been made 20years ago…well better late than……NEVER! MRH-90’s…..well…probably more Eurotrash that needs ditching.

    Quote: “Lessons learnt from issues with the ARH Tiger and other rotary wing projects had informed the strategy to seek a proven, mature ARH replacement capability.” Hmmm…..its seems the strategy will not use this kind of logic when it comes to replacing submarines though..

    Seriously, why can’t we have more Chinooks AND Blackhawks to fly the Pongo’s around??

    Reply
  • 16/01/2021 at 10:18 am
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    You might consider the ‘Tange Reforms’ that effectively allowed a Public Service finger (or fist) in every ADF pie…including acquisition projects.

    Now, imagine the ‘Utopia’ style background.

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  • 16/01/2021 at 1:53 am
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    Those of you blaming the ADF for this are way off base. I worked on AIR87 and Force Development (Aerospace) recommended the AH-64D then, for all the reasons being claimed by the Government now for choosing the AH-64E. Unfortunately, the joint Parliamentary Committee chose the Tiger due to promised offsets, jobs and capability, as opposed to proven capability with the AH-64D. The ADF often asks for equipment they don’t get, what they get are what the Government decides is a good “deal” that also meets the requirements of the tender. In this case, it’s good to see this go full circle. The AH-64E is a great weapons system based on a proven design with a great logistics support network. While we’re at it, we should buy some A-70i Blackhawks, license built from Poland. All digital with upgraded engines, transmissions and systems, for less than a Bell 412HP. We can create jobs supporting the acquisitions, because dreams of building and exporting these things ourselves are pure fantasy. Buy proven capability off the shelf.

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    • 16/01/2021 at 6:28 pm
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      Just a clarification, i am not blaming anyone in person or the ADF as a whole.
      My info is that the ADF did not want the MRH90?
      My problem is the waste of money, time and effort on numerous projects. that NO ONE seems accountable for.
      And yes i agree it is not the ADF fault.
      Perhaps i am being optimistic but maybe a politician could be up to taking some blame?
      No doubt the system as a whole is to blame?
      For example where is the debate on Apache and why was it rushed out quietly?

      Reply
    • 25/01/2021 at 8:02 am
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      Given that we deploy them on warships will they be maritized!

      Reply
    • 29/01/2021 at 9:22 am
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      So, defence wants to buy a dog for 50 bucks. DMO says no, not when we can buy a cat for 30. DMO goes ahead and purchases a cat. After years of field trials, it is decided that the cat cannot perform the function of a dog. Defence says look, we can still get a dog for 50 bucks, it’s all good. DMO says no, we’ve already got the cat, and we can retrofit it out to perform the function of a dog for only 45 bucks! That’s still cheaper than the dog! DMO kit the cat out, and with a lot of screaming and shouting, the cat almost passes the tests. DMO decide to lower the standard of the test because it is unfair on the cat, who is feeling belittled because it is expected to pass the dog test. DMO hire a cat specialist for 30 bucks to design a testing process for the cat. Once the testing process is tailored to suit the cat, it passes with flying colours! DMO supply defence with the upgraded cat. Once in use, defence discovers that the cat is not functional as a dog, and demands a dog. DMO have no money left to purchase a dog after project cat blew out the budget, and defence has no choice but to put up with the cat

      Reply
  • 15/01/2021 at 3:30 pm
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    Interesting, when I was back in Townsville for the 20th anniversary of the Blackhawk Disaster (I was on site..too close) 5 Avvn Regt where telling us then that the Tigers are being replaced by Apaches and that was from the ground up including ex CO and Corp Comd and this was 2016!?

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  • 15/01/2021 at 1:52 pm
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    So we’re buying the same Apache we could of bought waaaay back in 2001 when the project was originally tendered … and instead bought a vastly inferior option, that is no longer being built and only had a limited production run, spent close to 20 years ironing out all of its problems, were unable to deploy it to support combat troops in two long term ground conflict engagements (I’ll resist the urge to point out which platform they had to rely on during those times … hint: it was the Apache) and we will likely sell it off to another nation like Germany or France now that they are actually working OK and fit for the intended purpose they were bought for … Meanwhile, we now work very closely with the USMC and plan to use our two brand spanking new LHD’s just like they use their LHD’s as part of MEU’s, we have re-designated 2RAR from the ground up to conduct ‘marine’ type amphibious operations from them and they will need seaborne/amphibious air cover/reconnaissance from the LHD’s … except they (the USMC) use the purpose built for marine/amphibious operations off LHD’s – Viper, which was also on the table for purchase to replace the Tiger ARH which we ignored and went with the Apache.

    But I can live with that. But I wonder if they even seriously considered the Viper at all given what we are trying to achieve with the Canberra, Adelaide and 2RAR ??

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  • 15/01/2021 at 12:23 pm
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    My God, a common sense approach from the ADF….now if this was to spill over to replacing the MRH-90 with the Black Hawk UH-60M (like the RAN did with the MH-60R Seahawk) and then getting some Little Birds for SF, it would be a step in the right direction. There were so many times that the ADF were offered the Apache from the US, but we declined the offer, having already committed to a Lemon. The Taipan has really only been in full service for bugger all, considering that Life of Time (LOT) is up in a few years.

    Reply
    • 15/01/2021 at 5:31 pm
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      Taipan is still not FOC….apparently due to receive full operational capability this year once they sort out a few more issues.
      -according to last ANAO report q4 2020.

      Reply
  • 15/01/2021 at 12:13 pm
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    So the fleas who made the decision to buy the Tiger ARH are going to get away with their wrong decision? Are they are not to be punished in any way for wasting time and millions of dollars? If soldiers in 2 Sqn SASR are held accountable for the things they did wrong, why aren’t the decision makers who elected to buy Tiger held accountable.
    Why isn’t there more accountability amongst the Politicians, ADF Senior staff and the Defence Procurement toads for this kind of classic stuff up that has taken them 20 years to work out, that they got it wrong.
    Cant wait to have the new submarines come into service – so we can replace them with Multi Billion Dollar nuclear submarines when they find out the new subs don’t work – that should be an interesting story to….

    Reply
  • 15/01/2021 at 12:12 pm
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    The real story here is how and why did we spend so much money to get nothing?
    Will be interesting to see what happens to the AUSSIE TIGERS.
    My bet is they are sold for next to nothing and put to good use by another military?
    Then the question would be how bad were they really?
    This is not the only helicopter fiasco.
    Remember SUPER SEASPRITE? Again 1.2 billion dollars and no reward.
    What happened to them? Sold to NEW ZEALAND for much less than we spent and put to good use???!!!
    Question? how bad were they really?
    How about MRH90? Oh bad luck not so good after all, so no standardization, on one helicopter type.
    No WE NEED TWO, Seahawk for navy, MRH 90 for army.
    Special Forces tried to keep Blackhawk for their use, what does that tell you about the MRH 90.
    Surely this needs more scrutiny?
    What about the poor tax payer?
    SCREWED AGAIN?

    Reply
  • 15/01/2021 at 12:03 pm
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    I don’t really think that it was a surprise, surely a no brainer, but who are they going to sell the Tigers too I wonder? Our cousins across the ditch got our last helo fiasco

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  • 15/01/2021 at 11:06 am
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    I bet shares in Airbus Australia have dropped this morning lol although anyone with any sense of foresight could have seen this coming. Standby for the expected complaints about fairness in the tender process to be in the news within a day or so. Also standby for the inevitable MRH-90 replacement program coming to a tender soon.

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    • 15/01/2021 at 12:49 pm
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      Wait for it, Aussie boffin will try fitting a third seat or see if it can carry a section of infantry….this is to good to be true..

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      • 15/01/2021 at 4:12 pm
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        … don’t forget the vertical ejector seats!!!!!!

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  • 15/01/2021 at 11:03 am
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    WOW! That is out of the blue.

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    • 15/01/2021 at 11:04 am
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      That’s what I thought! Right?

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    • 15/01/2021 at 11:16 am
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      We need reliable platforms when world superpowers start running feral over other sovereign nations. That is, I suspect, what precipitated this rapid (and correct) decision. Let us hope the implementation stage is just as short.

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    • 15/01/2021 at 12:07 pm
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      Bloody awesome and about time. Now to get rid of the Taipan!

      Reply
  • 15/01/2021 at 10:56 am
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    Will be interested to see how these are integrated with the LHDs. I gather there are lessons to be had from the UK experience operating their variant off HMS OCEAN.

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  • 15/01/2021 at 10:50 am
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    About bloody time.
    Just wish they could be implemented sooner.

    Reply
    • 15/01/2021 at 11:00 am
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      Was a young grunt in Townsville when they ‘stacked’ a Tiger during trials in the early 90’s….. the term “you broke it you brought it’ comes to mind…… which perhaps explains how this atrocious decision was made all that time ago🙄

      Reply
      • 15/01/2021 at 11:07 am
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        Wasn’t it the Airbus company test pilot who stacked it though?

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        • 15/01/2021 at 1:15 pm
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          From memory, it was a Eurocopter Pilot taking an Aus Army pilot for a spin.
          Who was in control at time of impact… I don’t know.
          Also, I recall the gun barrel went missing and was never recovered.
          It was there on day one, I photographed it as part of the investigation team…… day 2 it was gone never to be seen again.
          There was this civvy found walking around site on day 2 taking pics, when challenged he said he was the insurance assessor. 🙂
          They also brought some French police in to guard site.

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      • 15/01/2021 at 12:05 pm
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        Problem is Australia needs more than say the 29
        When you supply units/squadron aircraft,,, x are online , x are being maintained, x are being fixed
        So how many can be utilized?

        Reply

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