Australian army switches from European to American helicopter

Canberra, Australia (AP) —Australian troops said Friday they plan to abandon a fleet of taipan helicopters designed in Europe and replace them with American Blackhawks and Seahawks because of the reliability of American machines. rice field.

The move is less than three months after Australia canceled its contract to buy a French submarine and supported building a nuclear submarine using U.S. and British technology with a switch that deeply offended France. It happens at home.

There are 47 Taipan helicopters in Australia that were designed by Airbus and were supposed to last until 2037, but have been plagued by ground contact. Australia will stop using them and buy 40 helicopters designed by Lockheed Martin on Switch. This will cost A $ 7 billion ($ 4.8 billion).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia has improved its defenses and has built a particularly good partnership with the United States.

“Taipan did not meet their goals. It’s that simple,” Morrison said. “And we want to make sure the Defense Forces have the best possible equipment to protect this country, and the Blackhawks provide it.”

Defense Minister Peter Dutton said the Blackhawks flight is much cheaper and authorities have been concerned about the Taipan program for the past decade.

“There were nine cases that weren’t suitable for flight. I’m not going to put our people in that position,” Dutton said.

He said the new helicopter would make the Australian fleet more consistent with the US fleet. This is an important consideration given the instability of the region.

China has previously expressed anger at the switch of Australian submarines, saying it is irresponsible for the United States and Britain to export nuclear technology.

Opposition politicians said the Australian government wasted billions of dollars on inadequate decisions on many of the defense contracts.