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Australia Releases RFP For Helicopters

The aim of the Air 9000 Program is to develop a coherent approach to the acquisition and support of helicopters for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). It will do so on an evolutionary basis. The Program aims to:

--rationalise the number of helicopter types operated by the ADF,
--simplify operational requirements and reduce through life support costs for these types, and
--provide a sustainable and high level of Australian industry support to them.

Defence’s intent is to execute the Program through a 20 year strategic agreement with a corporate entity. The agreement will manage an iterative program to supply and support new rotary wing capability and, where cost effective, to support existing capability upon expiry of present contractual arrangements.

The agreement will provide the certainty for significant investment in Australian industry. It should provide for a commercially sustainable industry while deepening the capability of industry in support of Australia’s defence self-reliance.

Rationalising the ADF’s Helicopter Fleet

The Air 9000 Program aims to rationalise the ADF helicopter fleet by grouping helicopter capability development to three (3) or, at the most, four (4) fundamental types as follows:

--Group 1 ­ Multi Role Helicopter (MRH);
--Group 2 ­ Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH);
--Group 3 ­ Heavy Utility Helicopter; and if required
--Group 4 ­ Light Utility / Training Helicopter

Air 9000 Phase 2
The first project Defence wishes to implement under the Air 9000 Program concept is Phase 2 ­ the supply and support of an additional squadron of troop-lift helicopters for Army. These will be the first Group 1 multi-role helicopters to be acquired. The helicopters must be able to operate in a maritime environment and deploy from select naval vessels.

Defence has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP), for both the Air 9000 Program strategic agreement and Air 9000 Phase 2.

--RFP Release Date: Wednesday 7 May 2003
--Industry responses due by: Wednesday 6 August 2003

The RFP is available in CD format on request to the Air 9000 Program, or may be down loaded by clicking on the link below:

The technical documentation supporting the RFP is available on CD only. Copies are available on request. Click on the link below for a list of the technical documentation:

--An industry brief will be held in Canberra
--Date: Monday 19 May 2003, commencing at 9 am
--Venue: National Convention Centre

For catering purposes, companies are asked to indicate numbers attending.
Wednesday to Friday, 20 to 23 May, are reserved for individual company discussions, by appointment only. Catering and appointments - contact the Air 9000 Program.

-ends- The Air 9000 Program ­ Request for Proposal for Australian Defence Force Rotary Wing Capability, including Additional Troop Lift Helicopters ( AAD 10/2002 )