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Labor front bencher Bill Shorten says hard decisions “had to be taken” by the Federal Government over the decision to scrap an entire fleet of helicopters.

Mr Shorten was speaking on Today after The Australian newspaper reported that the Australian Defence Force will ditch its fleet of 47 Taipan helicopters after reaching a new $7 billon deal with the US to buy Black Hawk and Seahawk replacements.

“If the Taipan is a turkey and isn’t what we hoped it would be, these are hard decisions,” Mr Shorten said.

He said the Federal Government deserved praise for making the hard decision but questioned why it took so long.

“Maybe you do get points for making the hard decision to go back to something that is more reliable,” Mr Shorten said.

“You have to ask how did we get ourselves into this situation in the first place.”

Defence Minister Peter Dutton will make an announcement on the new helicopter deal later today.

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