The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) has ordered seven additional Tiger HAD attack helicopters, bringing to 67 the total number of Tigers that will eventually be operated by the French Army Aviation. The additional Tigers will be delivered in 2017-2018.
“The French Army Aviation have put the Tiger to the test in multiple theatres and the aircraft has proved essential to the success of their missions,” explained Guillaume Faury, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “This additional order for seven Tiger HAD is a clear indication of its performance and we are proud to be able to support the French armed forces in their most demanding operations,” he added.
Since July 2009, Tigers have been deployed continuously by the French Army in different areas, such as Afghanistan, Libya and Sahel. While deployments in Afghanistan and Libya have come to an end, Tigers are still supporting missions in Sahel where, despite the hostile operating conditions, the helicopter has shown a very high level of availability and logged more than 2,000 flight hours since the start of deployment in January 2013.
With its flat and narrow silhouette the Tiger HAD’s advantages include low detectability, low vulnerability, high survivability, high agility and manoeuvrability making it the attack helicopter best adapted to both symmetric and asymmetric battlefields with unique capabilities whether for air-to-ground or air-to-air combat.
It is equipped with an extremely accurate 30mm turret cannon and a range of wing-mounted missiles and rockets together with a highly efficient electronic warfare system. The Tiger HAD is also navalised and can be fully operated from sea, as was demonstrated in 2011 by the French Army Aviation operating off the Libyan coastline.
The Tiger is a key asset in any operation, whether for direct combat or escort missions. It can be deployed anywhere thanks to its robustness and simplicity of use. It is easy to maintain and does not require heavy infrastructure.
To date, Airbus Helicopters has delivered more than 120 Tiger helicopters to France, Germany, Spain and Australia and the aircraft has accumulated more than 68,000 flying hours.