The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has released a Request for Information (RFI) to acquire new special operations helicopter under the Land 2097 Phase 4 project.
The RFI stated that the DoD is planning to acquire a fleet of light helicopters to enhance the Special Operations Aviation Capability of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as advised in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
According to the RFI released, the helicopters are to be proven (already in service) Commercial or Military off the shelf, optimised for operating in dense urban environments, and capable of being rapidly deployed by air transport in ADF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft.
The helicopter should be also capable of being fitted with simple, proven, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) equipment and weapons systems.
The project is currently in an exploratory phase, collecting information and proposals to inform concepts for capability realisation. The project is considering a wide range of procurement options based around a light helicopter as the major system. The acquisition strategy for the project is developmental and is subject to Government approval.
This RFI seeks industry’s input as to the potential solutions which could satisfy the Project’s needs. The initial phase is to identify major systems which can form the basis for the capability and is the primary focus of this engagement. For this reason, the Project seeks experienced Prime System Integrators who hold the ability to source a suitable platform, conduct integration of specialist role equipment and support the introduction into service of a new aviation capability.
The RFI Added that the proposals should address ongoing support in sustainment which may include engineering and supply services, while allowing for flexibility in transfer of technical data for sustainment services by a provider of the Commonwealth’s choosing.
The new helicopters are scheduled to enter service around 2023.