The Australian government has ordered 40 US-based Black Hawk helicopters after expelling a deal with Europe’s Airbus over performance issues in their present fleet, as Canberra (Capital of Australia) surges defence alignment with the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region.
A transformation, which was initially declared in 2021 but not characterized until Wednesday, had been put under a survey by Australia’s new Labor government in the previous year due to the nearly US$2.1bn (A$3bn) price of buying the Black Hawks.
The deal comes on the tip of Australia’s move in 2021 to source nuclear-powered submarines from the U.S. or U.K rather than from France, a decision that stimulated a prudent conflict after Canberra diminished a A$90bn contract with French supplier Naval Group.
Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese’s government has continued to encourage the Aukus alliance with the U.S. and U.K. and is due to publish a survey of the country’s defence spending and contract base report by March.
Earlier, the helicopter exchange was prompted by suitability and performance problems with the Airbus Taipan aircraft. But Richard Marles, Australia’s defence minister, said the decision to drop the deal with the Aerospace group 16 years early would not sabotage the government’s efforts to rebuild relations with Paris.
Marles stated to the national broadcaster ABC, “This is not a surprise to the French. Obviously, we’ve forecasted to them a long time ahead of this announcement where we’re going here. So we’re confident that this won’t interrupt . . . the renewed relationship with France.”
Later it was reported that Deliveries of the Black Hawk helicopters would begin this year and come against a backdrop of increasing geopolitical tension in the Indo-Pacific region following several collisions between Australian and Chinese forces.
Jeremy King, Head of the land capability at Australia’s defence sector, stated, “The Black Hawk capability will be a crucial element for us to protect Australia’s sovereignty, and deliver foreign policy objectives, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Further, Clinton Fernandes, a University of New South Wales Future Operations Research Group student, mentioned, “The helicopter agreement showcased how calibration with the U.S. was between Australia’s defence priorities.”
“Interoperability is probably the core feature of Australia’s military procurement and is central to the Australian way of war: to operate inside the strategy of a superpower by contributing a well-chosen, niche capability to augment the larger force,” Fernandes further added.
The helicopters will be established at Holsworthy in New South Wales and Oakey in southern Queensland.
Townsville, the Queensland city in the far north that is home to warfare forces and a few of the Taipan helicopters, will not be used as a base for the latest U.S. helicopters in the beginning.
“There has long been an organic connection between the Army’s aviation element and its other combat elements,” Fernandes stated of the stint.
- Published By Team Australia News