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The Australian Army has had issues with their Tiger ARH helicopters for years.
The government is on the cusp of spending $4.5 billion to buy 29 American-made Apache gunship helicopters – a deal which would cost hundreds of highly skills jobs including many in Queensland.
Sky News understands a recommendation will be put to the National Security Committee to retire the European-made Tiger helicopters years earlier and replace them with Apaches.
The government purchased the European-made Tiger helicopters in 2001 for $1.1 billion.
The commander in charge of the Tigers said in 2018 they had “proven reliability” and “proven performance” and could stay in service until 2040.
A letter signed by Germany, France and Spain, whose defence forces use the Tiger helicopters, urged Australia not to replace them.
“The Tiger is a sophisticated and highly effective combat system,” they said.
“It has been operational in our Armed Forces for several years.
“We encourage the retention of the Tiger.”
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said a decision would be made later this year.