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Taipan Helicopter Fleet To Be Retired Early Following Fatal Crash

A fleet of MRH-90 Taipan helicopters will be retired early following the fatal crash in Queensland in July which killed four airmen. 

Defence Minister Richard Marles made the announcement on Friday that the fleet of aircrafts will not fly again despite there still being one year before the Taipans are to be officially drawn from service. 

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Marles said removing the aircrafts from service is the right decision pending the investigation into the July crash. 

“Since then, what’s become clear is that those investigations are going to take a considerable amount of time,” he said. 

“One of the four has already indicated that it will be 12 months before that investigation is complete.” 

According to Marles, the ADF are shifting their attention to a new fleet of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. 

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The MRH-90 has been an important capability for our country and defence force, and I recognise the hard work of the hundreds of people who dedicated themselves to acquiring, operating and sustaining the aircraft,” he said. 

“The first of the 40 Black Hawks that will replace the MRH-90 have arrived and are already flying in Australia. We are focused on seeing their introduction to service as quickly as possible.

“The government’s highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our people.”

Four airmen including Captain Danniel Lyon, Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Corporal Alexander Naggs and Warrant Officer Joseph Laycock died after their Taipan helicopter crashed in Queensland close to Lindeman Island during a military exercise. 

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