The ARH Tiger is a two-seat, attack helicopter designed to perform a wide range of missions. Faster and more agile than its competitors, the ARH Tiger can detect and engage targets at longer ranges. The Tiger boasts sophisticated avionics and mission equipment capability. Under the Air 87 Program, the Commonwealth of Australia ordered 22 ARH Tigers to serve Australia for many years.
Main rotor 13 m, Tail Rotor 2.5 m
The Tiger’s stealthy design, agility and integrated sensor and weapons systems make it ideal for operating in both the reconnaissance and fire support roles. The roof-mounted sight permits high speed on escort missions and gives extreme angular accuracy for day and night target designation. In heavy fire support roles, the Tiger ARH uses stand-off missiles, capable of defeating all current and projected armoured vehicles, as well as strong points, day or night and in adverse weather.
The Tiger incorporates cutting-edge technologies, including: composite airframe to minimise weight and reduce radar cross-section; latest-generation engines and rotors; integrated suite of sensors and weapons. Inherently stealthy in radar cross-section, the Tiger employs infra-red suppression techniques to minimise infra-red detection.
AGM-114 Hellfire II Air-To-Ground Missile System
The AGM-114 (Hellfire II) provides heavy anti-armour capability. The missile is laser-guided and has an inbuilt laser seeker that can read a specially coded laser being reflected off a target. This target can be marked either before launching the missile, after launch or even by a remote source, such as a soldier on the ground. This versatility provides the helicopter with a far greater survivability and the ability to attack without moving into a target's vision.
The ARH is equipped with a GIAT 30mm DEFA M781 cannon in a chin-mounted turret (below the helicopter's nose). It can be used for engaging ground or air targets, and has a rate of fire up to 750 rounds per minute. The M781 is a dual feed weapon allowing for two different types of ammunition to be stored and selected. The weapon can be controlled via the Helmet-Mounted Sight Display, which can direct the aim of the cannon accurately to where the battle captain is looking using sensors within the helmet and cockpit.
Developing Australian industry capability
The ARH Tiger Program has delivered an in-country design and development environment for hardware and mission software. Australian Aerospace is responsible for overall program management and through-life support management, as well as assembly and delivery of ground crew training devices. Thales Australia is responsible for part of update and support of the avionics and mission systems and will fully develop and manufacture the Ground Mission Planning and Control System. Kellogg Brown and Root, together with Thales Training and Simulation, is developing and supporting the training program, including providing air crew training devices. Avalon Systems, with European OEM support (EADS), is responsible for development of the Electronic Warfare Mission Support System.