I was around Defence Sales when our Attack Helicopter procurement was the hot topic at Farnborough.It's fair to say that the Aussies have been very unhappy with several European products in the last decade. While the French have successfully deployed Tiger and NH90, the Australian Army have had no end of problems with both.
Much of this is likely to be issues with the Aussie spec kit which possibly explains why the French have deployed theirs but the Aussies have not. The French also have considerably more operational experience than Australia. As a result, Canberra now has a bit of a downer on either buying from Europe and being the lead customer for anything!
AH-64/WAH-64 vs Cobra-1W vs Eurotiger vs Rooivalk if I recall correct.
Given the amount of trialling and in-service operational experience UKFOR has now given Apache, I'd be interested to know what was the main influence on Oz to go with Tiger. Build share? License to supply other RIMPAC customers? Diversification of supply?
Or another very large brown envelope full of bearer bonds?