A handout file photo made available on 29 July 2023 by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) shows an Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan helicopter conducting flying serials during a ship's transit to Vanuatu, 23 July 2020 (issued 29 July 2023). EFE-EPA/ADF/LSIS James McDougall HANDOUT MANDATORY CREDIT: COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA 2023, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE/AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT/NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Black box of crashed Australian army helicopter found

Sydney, Australia, Aug 8 (EFE).- The black box of an Australian military helicopter that crashed in late July killing four people has been recovered, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

A team of Navy divers recovered the black box from the wreckage of the MRH-90 Taipan chopper lying in the depths of the waters off Lindeman Island in Queensland, the ministry said in a statement.

“The recovery remains a complicated and difficult operation…Defense’s priority remains the recovery of our soldiers and returning them to their families,” it added.

The recovery of the black box, which could shed light on the cause of the accident, comes four days after a remote-controlled underwater vehicle found unidentified human remains near the crash site.

Other pieces from the crashed MRH-90 Taipan helicopter have also been recovered, including parts of the cockpit and fuselage.

The helicopter was flying over the Whitsundays Islands off the northeast coast of Australia on July 28 with four soldiers on board during night maneuvers of the Talisman Saber military exercises.

The maneuvers, which brought together some 30,000 troops from 13 countries, including Australia and the United States, concluded on Monday.

An investigation was launched into the incident and the entire fleet of 45 MRH-90 Taipan was grounded.

On Sunday, Australia received its first two UH-60M Black Hawks helicopters, which will replace its MRH-90 Taipan fleet, public broadcaster ABC reported. EFE