Australia Kick-Starts Special Operations Light Helicopter Acquisition Effort
(Source: Forecast International; issued Oct 02, 2018)
CANBERRA -- The Australian Department of Defense has initiated a project calling for the acquisition of light helicopters required to support special operations. This requirement was laid out earlier in Australia's 2016 Defense White Paper.

The Department of Defense issued requests for information (RFIs) on September 25, 2018, calling for helicopters optimized for operating in dense urban environments that can be deployed by C-17 strategic airlifters.

The RFI does not outline quantity to be ordered, but does note that Australia seeks commencement of deliveries in 2023 if a contract comes to fruition. Each helicopter must be fitted with usable, proven ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and weapons systems.

They will be used for insertion and extraction of small Special Forces teams and capable of providing fire support for said teams.

Possible alternatives include the Boeing AH-6 Little Bird and Airbus Helicopters H125M.

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