HMAS Canberra — one of the Royal Australian Navy’s two LHD amphibious assault ships — has embarked two Army Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters for the first time.
The two Tigers, will join two MRH-90 Taipan medium lift helicopters and one MH-60R Seahawk conducting first-of-class flight trials onboard the ship off the east coast of Australia over the next six weeks.
The trials are designed to find the safe operating limits of the helicopters during a variety of weather conditions, and to check their ability to handle pitch and roll on deck. The trials will include emergency recoveries and other scenarios.
The two Tiger helicopters are from 1st Aviation Regiment in Darwin, Northern Territory, and the Army School of Aviation in Oakey, Queensland.
When operating from a ship, the helicopter will be used for forward scouting and as an escort for the MRH-90 Taipan helicopters.
The trials follow initial deck handling tests conducted on board sister ship HMAS Adelaide last year. The current trials will validate ship interface elements from those tests, ensuring that the aircraft can transit around the ship, down the elevators and into the ship’s hangar.
The Australian Army operates a fleet of 22 Tiger ARH helicopters, which achieved final operational capability in April 2016.