Airbus Helicopters is working with over 20
Australian partners to form Team Nightjar, as the consortium
launches its solution to Project LAND 2097 Phase 4.
Under this Project, Australia is seeking a fleet of helicopters to support the
Australian Defence Force’s Special Operations.
Bringing together some of Australia’s best industry
capabilities and academia, the Team Nightjar members include: Cablex, Cyborg Dynamics, Deakin University, DEWC, ECLIPS, Ferra
Engineering, Helicopter Logistics, Helimods, Kinetic Fighting,
Kratos Australia, Microflite, PREDICT Australia, QinetiQ
Australia, Safran Helicopter Engines Australia, Seeing Machines,
Sigma Bravo, Rusada, TAFE NSW, Tagai Management Consultants, Toll
Helicopters, University of Technology Sydney, Varley Group and
Varley Rafael Australia.
In response to Australia’s
request for proposal for a four-tonne class, rapidly deployable,
multi-role helicopter for the Australian Special Forces, Team
Nightjar will offer a fleet of Airbus
H145M and in-country support.
“We recognise the importance of working with
Australian companies on this programme, with each partner offering
niche capabilities to the Commonwealth. Building on our
established commitment to Australian industry, Team Nightjar will
have a strong focus on Australian industrial support and
innovation,” said Andrew Mathewson, Managing Director of Airbus
With a clear commitment to invest in
Australian-led innovation, the teaming proposal is expected to generate over
AUD250 million of economic benefits and more than 170 Australian
The light twin-engine aircraft complements the MRH90 Taipan with improved mobility and
situational awareness for special operations. By virtue of its
compact size, the H145M will be optimised for operations within
dense urban terrain and will be rapidly deployable via a C-17A
The H145M is gaining
popularity among defence forces due to its
price-performance ratio and the short delivery time, counting
military forces in Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Serbia and
Thailand as customers.
“The Commonwealth is seeking a proven, mature and
highly reliable off-the-shelf platform and robust support systems.
The H145M that we are proposing is the latest member of the H145
family, which has flown over 5.9 million hours with more than
1,400 aircraft in service globally across civil, parapublic and
military domains. It is well supported by a mature global network. The H145M is an exemplar platform for light
special operations and is a solid match for the Special Forces’
requirements, with proven capabilities for no-fail, high-readiness
missions,” added Mathewson.
Australia’s smallest nocturnal bird of prey, the
nightjar’s characteristics include agility, stealth through its
compact size, excellent camouflage, silence in flight and
The nightjar is known to hunt in pairs, and
catch prey on the wing, combining its heightened senses, agility,
speed, power and focus – characteristics which are critical for