The Australian Ministry of Defence and Italy’s Leonardo have agreed to establish a new helicopter repair facility in Melbourne to better facilitate services for country’s MRH Taipan and foreign NH90 helicopters, the company announced April 27.
The new facility is expected to begin in mid-2020, as Australia continues to replace its fleet of Black Hawk helicopters with its order for 47 MRH Taipans.
“Establishing this repair and overhaul facility locally means less reliance on foreign support for our MRH Taipan helicopters, and the same for certain local civil helicopter operators,” Christopher Pyne, Australia’s minister of defense industry, said in a statement.
Both Leonardo and the Australian government invested around $16 million into the new facility, according to company officials.
In return for Australia’s investment in the facility, Leonardo will provide MRH Taipan sustainment services at a reduced cost.
“This project is a true win-win situation for both Defence and local Defence Industry. It creates more Defence Industry jobs in Victoria and will lead to greater helicopter availability for operations,” Pyne said.