17-Jan-2011 Source: Forecast International
The MTR390 is in production for its single application, the Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopter. Three nations have purchased the Tiger; Germany, France and Spain with a total of 206 aircraft on order.
Eurocopter has been struggling to increase Tiger production and deliver helicopters to its customers. In 2009, seven aircraft were delivered which is half of the previous year’s total. Germany’s slow acceptance process is partially to blame, and plans to deliver 30 Tigers in 2010 will almost certainly fall short. An issue with wife chafing caused the German Defense Ministry to suspend payments to Eurocopter in May 2010, resulting in a subsequent fix by month’s end.
France’s 80 Tigers include 40 HAP models and 40 HADs. The first HAD made its first flight in June 2009 powered by the more powerful MTR390-E engine. (previous Tiger variants have the MTR390-2C engine) The HAD is expected to receive certification sometime in 2011. The French had plans to purchase an additional batch of 40 HADs which would have raised their total acquisition to 120 aircraft, but the chances of this additional buy now seem remote.
A purchase of 30 additional UHTs from Germany was canceled in 2003, and with no further interest in raising the total buy, Germany will likely make do with its original order of 80 Tigers.