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Australian military veterans offer to restore Taipan helicopters for transfer to Ukraine

Australian military veterans offer to restore Taipan helicopters for transfer to Ukraine Helicopter Taipan (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

In Australia, army veterans and engineers have volunteered to restore Taipan helicopters. They can be transferred to Ukraine, according to ABC News.

As the media outlet writes, the only obstacle to agreeing to transfer Taipan to Ukraine is the veto of the Australian Army. A representative of the Australian Ministry of Defense has said that the dismantling of MRH-90 helicopters is already nearing completion, and none of them are currently in flying condition.

"The disposal method for aircraft parts, including sections of the airframe, that are not required by existing (MRH-90) operators is subject to an ongoing procurement process. These parts, which include a complex range of materials, will be disposed of in an environmentally conscious manner — this process has not yet been finalised," he said.

However, a group of former military personnel and technicians has volunteered on a voluntary basis to restore Taipan, which still has the necessary parts for operation. They have submitted their proposal to the Minister of Defense of the country and called on him to halt the disposal process.

"With a combined effort from the Australian community we could collectively save these valuable airframes for a country in desperate need of military hardware to strengthen and reinforce their capability," said former soldier Chris Moore.

Journalists found that veterans could still restore a certain number of Taipan helicopters, but many of them have already been dismantled to a state that is not subject to restoration.

"Some of the helicopters recently pictured in Townsville are still in pretty good shape — landing gear, main gearbox and head still installed – and there aren't enough Airbus technicians left up there to strip them further," said one industry representative.

NH90 Taipan

A twin-engine medium-sized military helicopter with multiple roles. The NH90 is the first serial helicopter fully equipped with fly-by-wire flight control. There are two main variants: the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for army use and the NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) for naval use.

Earlier, there was information in the media that Australia had decided to dismantle and dispose of decommissioned Taipan helicopters instead of sending them to Ukraine. However,

Ukraine submitted an official request for the supply of helicopters on December 19, 2023, despite the fact that the aircraft have documented safety and operational issues.