Attack helicopters declared ‘unsafe’
CANBERRA — The Australian government said on Sunday that it would “actively monitor” a situation involving its 22 Tiger attack helicopters, after the maker Airbus Helicopters declared all variants to be in an unsafe condition.
After a German version of the attack helicopter crashed when its blades fell off the chassis in Mali last month, the manufacturer released a statement saying that safety was its main concern, and that as a result, the helicopters were not suitable for flying.
On Sunday, a defense department spokesperson said while Australia’s fleet was still operational, the issue would be discussed in the Parliament in “due course”.
News Corp newspapers quoted the spokesperson as saying that the government was “actively monitoring sustainment contract of the Tiger helicopter capability to ensure it achieves value for money”.
Airbus Helicopters said they were at a loss to understand why its helicopters were failing, but declared that “all Tiger versions” were “unsafe” at this point in time.
“Despite the missing inforhis mation and considering a sudden failure, Airbus Helicopters (AH) declares an unsafe condition for all Tiger versions,” the statement said.
“AH can neither identity the part, the failure of which would lead to the accident, nor the origin of the failure (design, manufacturing, maintenance).
“Consequently, AH is not in a position to propose a protective measure.”
The number of Tiger attack helicopters owned by the Australian government
Pakistani firefighters use hoses to try to extinguish burning vehicles after a blast in Quetta on Saturday. A powerful blast has killed at least 15 people and wounded 32 others in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, an official said.