Australia’s experience with the Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter continues to be problematic.
The army has now stopped all flights with its helos “due to a concern following the detection of fumes in the cockpit of one of the aircraft.”
The service is still working on getting the fleet fully operational, and the Australian defense department says that “final testing is planned for the end of 2012.”
Australia initially bought the aircraft in the hope of rapidly pressing it into service, but fielding the system proved more difficult than expected. Full operational capability is running more than a year behind schedule.
To help move the program forward, Australia took some Tigers in an interim configuration to get crews ready. Three of the 22 helos are now being upgraded to the full operational standard to complete the fleet.