Changes to the original German PAH-2 anti-tank version followed the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and saw an extension of the combat helicopter role to provide a more flexible capability.

"The longer distances and the considerably more complicated situation on a future battlefield led to the requirement that the Tiger should be able to support ground forces in virtually any aspect of combat," says the German defence ministry. Anti-tank weapons still provide the punch, but the UHU can also carry unguided rockets, an external gun pod, external fuel tanks and an armament control computer. "The concept of air mobility demanded that Tiger be able to escort transport helicopters and secure a landing site should the need arise," adds the ministry.

The weapons suite consists of Trigat anti-tank missiles, Euromissile HOT anti-tank missiles, Stinger air-to-air missiles, 68mm rockets and a 20mm gun pod.

The UK would not require the HOT missiles, and French Mistral air-to-air missiles would replace the Stingers.

Source: Flight International