Operations Scheduled to Start in Melbourne in 2020
Leonardo Australia and the Australian Ministry of Defence (MoD) have agreed to establish a helicopter transmission repair and overhaul facility in Melbourne capable of servicing MRH TAIPAN (Australian NH90s), foreign NH90s and certain civil helicopter main gear boxes. To be integrated into an existing Leonardo facility and scheduled to commence operation in mid-2020, the centre will employ at least 12 technical staff for 30 years or more. The federal government is investing around $16m in the facility, an investment which will be repaid through reduced MRH TAIPAN sustainment costs over the remaining life of the helicopter fleet. A similar amount is being provided by Leonardo.
Acquired in 2006, the fleet of 47 MRH TAIPAN helicopters, a dedicated variant of the NH90 for the Australian armed forces for both land and maritime operations, will next year commence replacing the BLACK HAWK in the 6th Aviation Regiment in Sydney, where they will gradually take over the role of aviation support to counter terrorism. Establishing a local repair and overhaul facility will contribute to greater helicopter availability for this critical national security mission.
This latest step by Leonardo reflects the company’s continuing strong commitment to positioning the customer at the core of any activity, from design to through life-cycle support. As the designer and manufacturer of transmission components and main gear boxes for all NH90 helicopters of any customer worldwide, the opening of a dedicated maintenance, repair and overhaul centre for the Australian fleet is also a clear recognition of Leonardo’s established expertise in support services on core and critical technologies.
“Establishing this repair and overhaul facility locally means less reliance on foreign support for our MRH TAIPAN helicopters, and the same for certain local civil helicopter operators,” commented Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne. “This project is a true win-win situation for both Defence and local defence industry. It creates more defence industry jobs in Victoria and will lead to greater helicopter availability for operations.”