Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR July.August2010 Contents [HEADLINES
MRH90 To Resume Flying
Australian Aerospace Limited, which assembles the Army’s and Navy’s
MRH90 helicopters in Brisbane, has welcomed the imminent return
to flying operations by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) of what
it describes as a world leading and most advanced multi-role helicopter.
The ADF announced on July 22 that the MRH90s will recommence flying
operations within days.
The ADF ceased flying their MRH90 fleet in late April due to a failure
of one of the two engines on an MRH90, which returned safely to its
During the MRH90’s suspended flight operations, Australian Aerospace
continued assembling and testing, to support the aircraft’s introduction
to the Australian Defence Force, and further deliveries of MRH90s are
“The MRH90 is a superb aircraft and will continue to be a success
story for the Australian Defence Force, local jobs and local industry. It
is delivering an advanced platform that Australia has never before had”,
Australian Aerospace’s CEO Dr. Jens Goennemann said.
Meanwhile, the Defence Materiel Organisation’s (DMO) Head Helicopter
Systems Division, Rear Admiral Mark Campbell, stated that media reports
alleging pilot error being a factor in the engine failure were incorrect.
“There is no suggestion of pilot error as alleged in one UK report,” Rear
Admiral Campbell said.
Eurocopter CEO, Dr Lutz Bertling, has also written to the Minister
for Defence Materiel and Science, Greg Combet to directly refute any
suggestion that engine damage was caused by improper handling of the
aircraft by ADF pilots.
Rear Admiral Campbell also said an inspection regime and preventative
measures have been developed to lift the current flying suspension.
“Extensive work has been conducted by Rolls Royce Turbomeca and our
Industry partners with support from the Defence Science and Technology
Organisation to identify the cause of the engine failure.
“We are advised the failure resulted from compressor blade fracture due
to contact with the engine casing.”
The impact of the engine failure combined with the workload to address
some technical issues with this very capable but highly complex digital
aircraft will delay the first flight at sea for Navy, which is now expected to
occur in mid 2011.
The first Army capability objective of one deployable MRH90 troop will
also be delayed. APDR
for Defence Materiel and Science Greg Combet to directly refute any
MRH about to lift Hamel gun
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