Australien — New naval combat helicopter tender release

The Min­is­ter for Defence, Sen­a­tor John Faulkn­er today announced that the Defence Materiel Organ­i­sa­tion has released project solic­i­ta­tion doc­u­ments to the Unit­ed States Navy and Aus­tralian Aero­space for the sup­ply of a new naval com­bat heli­copter under Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan project AIR 9000 Phase 8.

Under this project, the Gov­ern­ment will acquire suf­fi­cient heli­copters to pro­vide at least eight heli­copters con­cur­rent­ly embarked on ships at sea, which under the White Paper requires a fleet of 24 heli­copters.

Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said that “The new naval com­bat heli­copter will enhance the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s abil­i­ty to con­duct a range of mar­itime com­bat and oth­er oper­a­tions, includ­ing anti-sub­ma­rine and sur­face war­fare.”

As announced by the Gov­ern­ment in Feb­ru­ary 2010, the new heli­copter will be either the Siko­rsky-Lock­heed Mar­tin built MH-60R sourced through the Unit­ed States Navy, or the NATO Heli­copter Indus­tries NH90 NFH sourced through Aus­tralian Aero­space.

“The com­pe­ti­tion to select a new heli­copter has com­menced on sched­ule ahead of a final deci­sion about the new heli­copter in 2011” Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said. “The release of ten­der doc­u­ments now is in line with the sched­ule deter­mined by the Gov­ern­ment when it con­sid­ered the project for First Pass Approval in Feb­ru­ary of this year.”

The Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel and Sci­ence, Greg Com­bet, said “This marks the tran­si­tion of Project AIR 9000 Phase 8 to a for­mal com­pet­i­tive solic­i­ta­tion phase.”

“A com­pet­i­tive process is con­sis­tent with the Kin­naird and Mor­timer pro­cure­ment reforms,” Mr Com­bet said. “It will allow the com­pa­nies to offer inno­v­a­tive solu­tions that sat­is­fy the capa­bil­i­ty, cost and sched­ule require­ments and detail what oppor­tu­ni­ties they will offer local indus­try.”

Sen­a­tor Faulkn­er said that any deci­sion Gov­ern­ment makes in 2011 will take into account all rel­e­vant con­sid­er­a­tions includ­ing capa­bil­i­ty, cost, inter­op­er­abil­i­ty with oth­er ADF capa­bil­i­ties, Aus­tralian indus­try oppor­tu­ni­ties, risk and val­ue for mon­ey.

Aus­tralian Min­istry of Defence
Media Con­tacts
Col­in Camp­bell (John Faulkn­er): 02 6277 7800 or 0407 787 181
Rod Hilton (Greg Com­bet) 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619
Defence Media Liai­son: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664