Australia explains why Taipan helicopters requested by Ukraine are being disposed of
Australia will dispose of 45 Taipan helicopters, despite the fact that Ukraine requested them for its use
Australian Minister for Defense Industry Pat Conroy stated this, Breaking Defense reports.
According to him, Ukraine allegedly sent a request for the transfer of Taipan helicopters too late, after the decision to dispose of them had been made. Conroy said that the decision to dispose of the Taipan was made in September 2023, while the request from Ukraine was received in December.
The decision to dispose of the aircraft was made after four Australian servicemen were killed during exercises in Queensland. The military plans to replace the Taipan with American Black Hawk helicopters.
Disposal of Taipan would cost Australia about EUR 1 billion.
"Ukraine made a formal request for the MRH-90 in December, despite well-documented safety and operational issues with the aircraft," the minister said.
At the same time, some lawmakers in Australia support the idea of transferring Taipan to Ukraine.
What preceded it
Earlier, the media reported that Australia had decided to disassemble and dispose of retired Taipan helicopters instead of sending them to Ukraine.
Ukraine submitted an official request for the supply of helicopters on December 19, 2023, despite the fact that the aircraft has documented safety and operational problems.
For reference. The NH90 Taipan is a twin-engine, multi-role, medium-sized military helicopter. It is the first production helicopter to be fully equipped with electronic flight control. There are two main variants: a tactical transport helicopter (TTH) for use by the army and a NATO naval frigate helicopter (NFH).