Another setback for French interests with Australia. A few months after the breach of the century contract Submarines, Airbus The Australian government has reportedly expressed interest in replacing helicopters of European descent. An AFP spokesman told The Australian News Agency that Australia had “informed Airbus of its decision to launch a military sale overseas to convert MRH90 into armed forces”. “We are disappointed with this announcement, but we are committed to fully supporting the fleet of MRH90s in service in Australia, and our significant presence, more broadly, in the country,” the spokesman added.
The MRH90, aka Taipan, is the Australian version of the NH90, a multi-role helicopter in service with the French Army under the name Cayman. The aircraft is being manufactured by the NH Industries consortium of Airbus helicopters, Italian Leonardo and Dutch Fokker. As of mid-2021, more than 440 NH90s of all types have been issued to 14 countries, with the number being discontinued. According to The Australian, the Canberra government has decided to stop using 47 Taipan from its military and navy and replace the US equipment Lockheed Martin Black Hawks and Seahawks with a $ 7 billion (4. 4.4 billion) deal.
The development comes just three months after the Australian government canceled a major deal to buy 12 French submarines worth $ 90 billion (55 billion euros) with conventional impetus, causing a severe diplomatic crisis with Paris.
Australia switched to US-powered submarines instead as part of a new alliance with Washington and London to tackle growing strategic tensions between the US and China in the Pacific.
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