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Australia's Tiger armed recon helicopters getting upgrade
by Richard Tomkins
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Oct 21, 2014

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Approval for an interim tactical data link for Australian armed reconnaissance helicopters has been announced by the country's defense minister.

A total of 21 army Tiger helicopters are to receive the upgrade under a program called LAND 2089 Phase 3B. The upgrade provides tactical information exchange to further integrate the helicopters into a combined arms land force battlespace, Minister for Defense David Johnston said.

"The interim Tactical Data Link will improve the Tiger's situational awareness in the battlespace by improving the helicopter's ability to receive in flight tactical positioning of friendly and known enemy forces," Senator Johnston said.

"Through this data link the Tigers will be able to share targeting information, coordinate battlefield movements and tactical objectives, and transmit real-time reconnaissance information between the aircraft and the land forces," he said.

A fully integrated tactical data link solution is expected after 2020.

Elbit Systems Australia is the software and battle management system developer, and Airbus Group Australia Pacific will conduct the aircraft technical modification works.

Tiger Armed reconnaissance helicopters are a product of Airbus.

The contract for the work carries a value of about $17.5 million.

In other helicopter news, the Royal Australian Navy has received its first MH-60R Seahawk 'Romeo' naval combat helicopter from the United States.

The Sikorsky-made helicopter is a twin-engine, multi-purpose aircraft using a modified UH-60 Black Hawk frame.

The aircraft delivered too HMAS Albatross in Nowra, was flown to Australia by a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 from Florida, where Australian aircrew have been training on the aircraft.

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