Minister for Defence Materiel – Vietnam War Helicopters to get new homes

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today released the Request for Offer (RFO) for six Iroquois helicopters reserved for sale to historical organisations.

From today historical organisations will be able to apply for one of six Iroquois Helicopters for static display.

Priority will be given to historical organisations in Australia that have strong historic connections with the aircraft.

“The Iroquois helicopters – affectionately known as Hueys – served the Australian Defence Force for nearly half a century and featured prominently in the Battle of Long Tan during the Vietnam War,” Mr Clare said.

“They also assisted in many peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.

“Their final deployment was to Sumatra in Indonesia to provide assistance following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami,” Mr Clare said.

“The helicopters flew from dawn till last light everyday, delivering food, water, medical supplies and aid workers to affected areas. They completed approximately 300 missions, evacuated close to 500 people and delivered 150 tonnes of vital supplies.”

Iroquois helicopters were withdrawn from service in December 2007.

“It is important that we preserve these helicopters to ensure their contribution to our military history is not forgotten,” Mr Clare said.

Eleven Iroquois helicopters have already been allocated to Defence bases around Australia and one to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra for static display.

Another five Iroquois helicopters will be kept by the Australian Defence Force as training aids and another two have been offered for sale to national returned service organisations.

Organisations displaying the Iroquois Helicopters will be subject to the approval of the United States Government, under their International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

The helicopters will need to be demilitarised at a cost of up to $10,000 per aircraft. The cost of this work, and other costs associated with preparing the display will be the responsibility of recipients.

RFO documentation will shortly be available for download after registering on the AUSTENDER website www.tenders.gov.au citing reference DMOFD/RFO117/2011.

The tender will close on 27 January 2012.

Queries relating to accessing the RFO documents can be brought to the attention of the AUSTENDER helpdesk on phone: 1300 651 698; International: +61 2 6215 1558, or by email: tenders@finance.gov.au

Queries relating to the sale process or the equipment available for sale can be brought to the attention of the Defence Disposals Agency by phone +61 2 9393 2914, or by email: disposals@defence.gov.au.

Imagery of the Iroquois helicopters is available at:

http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=11120107

Media contact: Korena Flanagan – 02 6277 7620

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