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Australian NH90 Taipan Transport Helicopter Retirement Takes Unexpected Turn

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The Taipan helicopters / open source
The Taipan helicopters / open source

The ADF’s NH90 helicopter retirement plan appears to be a well-considered and responsible approach

In December 2023, reports surfaced that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was disposing of 45 NH90 Taipan transport helicopters, sparking concerns about wastefulness and missed opportunities. Initial reports, citing APDR, painted a picture of scrapped helicopters and buried components, seemingly at odds with the multi-million dollar price tag of each aircraft. However, a closer look reveals a more nuanced and responsible approach to the disposal process.

The ADF clarified that the decision to scrap the helicopters stemmed from a lack of interest from potential buyers, including other NH90 helicopter operators. While the recycling process involves dismantling the airframes, it is far from a simple “chop-and-bury” operation. Instead, the ADF emphasizes the recovery and preservation of critical components, including engines, avionics and crucial subsystems. These salvaged parts will be available for future use by other NH90 users, maximizing the value of the decommissioned aircraft.

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The Taipan helicopter Defense Express Australian NH90 Taipan Transport Helicopter Retirement Takes Unexpected Turn
The Taipan helicopter / open source

Regarding Ukraine’s alleged interest in these helicopters, no official request for acquisition has been confirmed. While Defense Express acknowledges potential interest, the lack of formal confirmation suggests the initial reports might have been inaccurate.

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