Flying above troops on the ground, helicopters can also be used in special operations for command and control duties. “Helicopters are a vital asset for special forces as they need to go far and get there fast,” explained General Cazalaa, Deputy Chief of Staff of the French Army Aviation Branch. “In special operations, having dedicated helicopters really gives the edge.”
The most advanced armed forces across the world have created helicopter units dedicated to special operations. In Germany, the special forces operate H145Ms. In France, the French Army has one regiment dedicated to special operations – operating the Gazelle, Puma, Cougar (recently upgraded), H225M and the Tiger.
France also has ordered a new standard of the NH90 dedicated to special forces. The French army combines the qualities and features of these helicopters to obtain maximum effect.
Meanwhile, the French Air and Space Force has one squadron of helicopters dedicated to special forces, operating the H225M. Building on its knowhow for combat search and rescue operations, this squadron has developed very unique skills for long range operations using the H225M’s air-to-air refuelling capabilities.
Other customers across the world have chosen Airbus Helicopters for their special forces. The company’s comprehensive range of platforms include equipment and features developed specifically for special operations.