Air International 2020-09
K.Chapman - Australia's Special Ops on the hunt
An Australian Army Air Corps (AAAC) S-70A-9 Black Hawk is prepped before departing Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, Queensland, during Exercise Talisman Saber in 2007. The AAAC still uses the platform in a supportive role for special operation assignments.
Bell says the 407 GXi is "proven and powerful", sharing lineage with the company's OH-58 Kiowa family, which has been a hugely successful platform with air arms across the world, including the US Army.
Australia has previously operated the 429 GlobalRanger in a military role, serving as a training helicopter for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) until April 2019. Its selection under the Project LAND 2097 Phase 4 programme would see the type make a return to the ADF.
A glimpse of the future? Bell's 429 GlobalRanger, registration YH-MJI (c/n 57043), has been painted in ADF colours as Babcock Australia pushes to win the Project LAND 2097 contract.
The Airbus H145M offer includes the company's HForce weapons package, which provides guided and unguided munitions, such as air-to-air/ground missiles, laser-guided rockets, a 20mm cannon, 68 and 70mm unguided rockets and a 12.7mm machine gun.