Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first two upgraded Tiger attack helicopters in the HAD Block 2 configuration to the French army.
The new “navalised” aircraft – they can be used from ships – were qualified by the French directorate for armament on 21 November ahead of their delivery on 10 December, Airbus says.
The new configuration offers improved targeting for rockets; additional combat fuel tanks for longer endurance; an extension of the flight domain in which Rafael Spike and Lockheed Martin Hellfire missiles can be fired; and new digital communications.
HAD Block 2 aircraft will be operated by GAMSTAT – the aero-mobility group belonging to the technical division of the French Army – before being 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 1 helicopters, which have been deployed to the Central African Republic, Airbus says.
It adds that it has delivered some 110 Tiger helicopters to Australia, France, Germany and Spain, including six HAD Block 1 attack helicopters for the French army, along with 40 in the HAP support and escort configuration.