Home Asia Pacific Australian Taipan helo crashes off Queensland during Talisman Sabre drill

Australian Taipan helo crashes off Queensland during Talisman Sabre drill

Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan crash during Talisman Sabre maneuver
Illustration; Australian defense ministry file photo

An Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan helicopter crashed off the Queensland coast during a night-time training sortie on July 28.

The aircraft was flying the training mission as part of exercise Talisman Sabre when it was reported missing late Friday night, 28 July 2023.

Four crew were on board the aircraft at the time of the incident and are currently missing. According to the defense ministry, the helicopter crashed into the water near Lindeman Island.

Search and rescue operations at the incident site are being undertaken by military and civilian search and rescue aircraft and watercraft.

The Taipan is a fly-by-wire, all composite construction, multi-role troop lift helicopter, capable of undertaking troop transport, community support, search and rescue, support to special operations and counter-terrorism missions.

Taipans are expected to withdraw from service in 2024, and will be replaced by US-developed UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

The Talisman Sabre exercise the helicopter was participating in is the largest bilateral military training exercise between Australia and the US, with military personnel from 13 nations are taking part in 2023.

This year, maneuvers are taking place from northern WA to Norfolk Island, the largest-ever geographical footprint for the high-end warfighting. The exercise is expected to wrap up by August 4.