Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli-Union have signed a global support contract for the Cougar and Caracal helicopters in service in the French Army and Air Force. This agreement signed with the DMAé, the defence agency in charge of improving the availability of military aircraft in France, is the first contract that Airbus Helicopters has signed as part of the new approach initiated by the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
This long-term contract aims at increasing the availability of the Caracal and Cougar fleets by making Airbus Helicopters responsible for the entire scope of the aircraft’s support. Airbus Helicopters has committed to limiting the number of aircraft in heavy maintenance by reducing the duration of the maintenance cycles for each helicopter type by up to 20%. Additionally, the commitments taken on logistics and technical assistance will reduce the downtime linked to these activities.
“Airbus Helicopters has committed to ambitious performance levels for the support of the Cougar and Caracal helicopters in service in the French Army and Air Force” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This contract is the result of months of cooperation with the DMAé, and I am confident it will deliver the level of support that the French armed forces expect to perform their critical missions both nationally and in operational theatres abroad”.
Airbus Helicopters will also propose, in cooperation with its partner Heli Union, a maintenance centre close to one of its customer’s sites in Pau, and will also involve a significant number of French SMEs in the equipment repair activities.
The French armed forces operate 18 H225Ms, also known as Caracal in French service, missions, as well as 26 Cougars, some of which are currently performing troop transport, special forces and search and rescue missions in demanding theatres of operation worldwide.
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- UK AAIB Bulletin – July 2020