The French Army’s Tiger combat helicopter fleet expanded yesterday with Airbus Helicopters’ delivery of the first two attack helicopters in the HAD Block 2 version, following its qualification by the French General Directorate for Armament on November 21. These two Tigers will join those already in service for the military, which have proven their capabilities during operational deployments in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Libya and Mali.
The “Block 2” version brings additional enhancements that now offer the full capacity of the HAD version, including improved targeting accuracy for rockets, the addition of combat external fuel tanks that provide longer flight times while still enabling the full complement of armament to be used, an extension of the flight domain in which Spike and Hellfire anti-tank missiles can be fired, and the integration of digital communications for operations in today’s digital battlefield. The HAD block 2 helicopters are also “navalized,” allowing their use from ships and in sea environments.
To date, Airbus Helicopters has delivered more than 110 Tiger helicopters to France, Germany, Spain and Australia – a total which includes six HAD Block 1 attack helicopters for the French Army, along with 40 in the HAP support and escort configuration.
The newly-delivered HAD Block 2 aircraft will be operated by GAMSTAT (the aero-mobility group belonging to the technical “section” of the French Army), then assigned to the 1st Army Combat Helicopter Regiment, located at the Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base in France’s Moselle region. This unit already operates HAD Block 1helicopters, which have been deployed to the Central African Republic.
About Airbus Helicopters
Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is a division of Airbus Group, a global pioneer in aerospace and defense related services. Airbus Helicopters is the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer and employs more than 23,000 people worldwide. With 46 percent market share in civil and parapublic sectors, the company’s fleet in service includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in approximately 150 countries. Airbus Helicopters’ international presence is marked by its customer centers and participations in 21 countries, and its worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents. Airbus Helicopters’ range of civil and military helicopters is the world’s largest; its aircraft account for one third of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. The company’s chief priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who fly more than 3 million hours per year.
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