Australian Tigers Operate Overseas for First Time

25 April 2019

Australian Army Tiger ARH attack helicopters aboard HMAS Canberra during the type’s first overseas deployment in late April. (photo : Aus DoD)

Australia has deployed its Airbus Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) overseas for the first time, with a detachment participating in joint training exercises with Malaysia.

Four Australian Army Tiger ARHs were airlifted to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) air base at Subang on a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter on 21 April, before embarking for training exercises aboard the HMAS Canberra landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship.

Australia operates 22 Tiger ARH helicopters, with deliveries running from December 2004 through to December 2011. The ARH is a hybrid variant of the Tiger that is based on the French HAP (Hélicoptère d'Appui et de Protection), with an undernose Giat 30-781 30 mm cannon, roof-mounted sight, and provision for underwing 70 mm rocket pods, but with added anti-tank capability.

Apart from being the first overseas deployment of the Tiger, the exercises aboard HMAS Canberra mark a major milestone for the helicopter given that until very recently Australian auditors were recommending that it not be operated aboard ships due to performance limitations.


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