The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has announced that the launch of the Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger; HIL) programme has been brought forward to 2021. The HIL programme, for which the Airbus Helicopters’ H160 was selected in 2017, was initially scheduled for launch in 2022 by the current military budget law. Launching the programme earlier will enable delivery of the first H160Ms to the French Armed Forces to be advanced to 2026.
During a visit to the Airbus Helicopters headquarters, the Minister also revealed the full-scale mock-up of the H160M that will be presented on the Ministry of the Armed Forces stand at the next Paris Air Show. The helicopter was also given its official name and will be designated as “Guépard” (“Cheetah”) by the French Armed Forces.
The H160 was designed to be a modular helicopter, enabling its military version, with a single platform, to perform missions ranging from commando infiltration to air intercept, fire support, and anti-ship warfare in order to meet the needs of the army, the navy and the air force through the HIL programme.
“We are proud that the HIL is considered a strategic programme. I would like to thank the Ministry, the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA and the armed forces for their trust and for the close collaboration which helped create the conditions for the programme to be brought forward within the framework of the current military budget law. This will make it possible to speed up the replacement of the older generation of aircraft, while optimising the support and availability of the French State’s helicopter fleet,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Our teams are committed to delivering an aircraft in 2026 that meets the needs of the French armed forces in terms of availability, performance and capability, thus enabling it to rapidly become the new benchmark on the world’s medium-lift military helicopter market.”
Built around a platform that will enter service next year, the HIL programme will benefit from many of the advantages inherent in the civil H160, particularly in terms of support, with simplified maintenance and lower operating costs than the previous generation of helicopters in this category.
- Nepal – Summit Helicopters rebrands back to original Fishtail Air name
- Airbus appoints Head of External Communications
- Garmin® unveils the fourth generation GPS/NAV/COMM
- Boeing delivered more new Apaches than 737s in 2019 Q4
- Farewell Message from Matt Zuccaro as he hands over HAI
- Manufacturing of Tiltrotor AW609 wind tunnel model via SLS and Windform
- Sikorsky, Rheinmetall Unveil Plans for German Heavy-Lift CH-53K
- Vertical Flight Society Announces Continued Strong Growth
- Era Group Names Senior Vice President of Business Development
- Schiebel Camcopter S-100 deployed for river pollution crisis in Malaysia
- 25,000 missions for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance
- Bristow used Chapter 11 process to drop Airbus H175 order
- US Navy awards $2.68 Billion contract for APKWS rockets
- THOMMEN delivers first multi function displays for the AW129
- Milestone Aviation Group names CEO
- Air Methods Promotes new CEO
- HH-60W enters chamber for defense systems testing
- Botswana police order three Enstrom 480B
- “Who Rates Best to Avoid Fatal Helicopter Accidents? Who Rates Worst?”
- S.A.F.E. will present a Maintenance Safety session at Heli Expo 2020