apart from all this mud-slinging,can anyone actually point out what was wrong with the Tiger? What actually failed on it? was it avionics? was it the gun? was it down to bad servicing or what?
Not specifics, but availability definitely leaving something to be desired.
“The Tiger has had a troubled history – essential upgrades are programmed to maintain the capability’s effectiveness. Defence will invest in a future armed reconnaissance capability to replace the Tiger, which could include manned or unmanned systems or a combination of both, to be introduced from the mid-2020s,” the White Paper said.
'Eight months later, in September 2016, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) delivered another blow: in a 64-page report on the Tiger it identified 76 “capability deficiencies”, of which the Department of Defence (DoD) deemed 60 to be “critical”.
Source: Commonwealth of Australia Operating in littoral environments is essential for Australia's armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) It may have taken years for the Airbus Helicopters Tiger to finally hit its stride in Australia, but the capability improvement now achieved may have come too...
'The Tiger helicopter fleet has not yet delivered the original capability expected by the Australian Government, and continues to experience higher than expected sustainment costs and lower than expected aircraft availability.
- The Chief of Army declared Final Operational Capability for the Tiger on 14 April 2016, allowing the helicopter to be operationally employed. The declaration was seven years later than planned, and was accompanied by nine operational caveats.
- As at April 2016, the Tiger also had 76 capability deficiencies relating to Army’s current and future operational requirements, 60 of which were deemed by Defence to be critical. Other key limitations relate to shipborne operations, pilot flying hours, interoperability and communications, airworthiness, and the roof-mounted sight.
- To date, sustainment costs have exceeded the original contract value. The 15 year (2004–2019) sustainment contract provided for expenditure of $571 million.4 That sum was expended by June 2014, and expenditure as at June 2016 was $921 million.
- As at June 2016, the cost per flying hour for the Tiger fleet was $30 335, compared to a target of $20 000. The long-term average was $39 472 per hour. Defence negotiated a cost cap to control sustainment cost growth in 2014.
- On average only 3.5 aircraft of the operational fleet (16 aircraft) were serviceable at 10am on any given day in 2015, against a target of 12 aircraft.
- The Acquisition contract for the Tiger system was completed in 2013. The Tiger acquisition had a budget of $2.03 billion. Defence spent $1.86 billion on the acquisition (capital expenditure) and the remainder ($170 million) was unspent contingency.
- The acquisition missed all but one of its scheduled key milestones. In April 2016, the Chief of Army declared that the Tiger had achieved the Final Operational Capability milestone, some seven years behind schedule. The developmental nature of the aircraft was a major factor in the Tiger’s delayed introduction into service.'
Tiger—Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter | Australian National Audit Office