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Airbus Helicopters has joined hands with over 20 Australian partners to form Team Nightjar, as the consortium launches its solution to Project LAND 2097 Phase 4. Under this project, the Commonwealth of Australia is seeking a fleet of helicopters to support the Australian Defence Force’s special operations.
Bringing together Australia’s best industry capabilities and academia, the Team Nightjar members include: Cablex, Cyborg Dynamics, Deakin University, DEWC, ECLIPS, Ferra Engineering, Helicopter Logistics, Helimods, Kinetic Fighting, Kratos Australia, Microflite, PREDICT Australia, QinetiQ Australia, Safran Helicopter Engines Australia, Seeing Machines, Sigma Bravo, Rusada, TAFE NSW, Tagai Management Consultants, Toll Helicopters, University of Technology Sydney, Varley Group and Varley Rafael Australia.
In response to the Commonwealth of Australia’s request for proposal for a four-tonne class, rapidly deployable, multi-role helicopter for the Australian Special Forces, Team Nightjar will be offering a fleet of the highly capable Airbus H145M and in-country support.
“We recognize the importance of working with Australian companies on this program, with each partner offering niche capabilities to the Commonwealth. Building on our established commitment to Australian industry, Team Nightjar will have a strong focus on Australian industrial support and innovation,” said Andrew Mathewson, managing director of Airbus Australia Pacific.
The local consortium will deliver training solutions, empower indigenous participation, and enable rapid design and delivery of enhancements throughout the programme’s lifetime.
With a clear commitment to invest in Australian-led innovation, the teaming proposal will generate over AU$250 million of economic benefits and more than 170 Australian jobs.
“We believe these capabilities will greatly enhance the core offering of the very capable H145M helicopter, while providing local jobs, technology transfer and export opportunities.”
“The Commonwealth is seeking a proven, mature and highly reliable off-the-shelf platform and robust support systems. The H145M that we are proposing is the latest member of the H145 family, which has flown over 5.9 million hours with more than 1,400 aircraft in service globally across civil, parapublic and military domains. It is well supported by a mature global network.”
“The H145M is an exemplar platform for light special operations and is a solid match for the Special Forces’ requirements, with proven capabilities for no-fail, high-readiness missions,” added Mathewson.
The light twin-engine aircraft is an operationally proven, affordable and low-risk option for Australia, complementing the MRH90 Taipan with improved mobility and situational awareness for special operations. By virtue of its compact size, the H145M will be optimized for operations within dense urban terrain and will be rapidly deployable via a C-17A Globemaster.