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Eurocopter's Tiger HAD support and attack helicopter version for France performs its maiden flight

The first pre-serial Tiger HAD (fire support and destruction) for France made its maiden flight from Eurocopter's Marignane, France facility. It marks an important step towards the Block I initial qualification of the Tiger HAD, which is one of four versions in Eurocopter's multi-role Tiger combat helicopter family.

During the next several months, Eurocopter will conduct joint testing and development flights of this Tiger HAD along with the first Spanish Tiger HAD – which re-started its flight test sequences three months ago subsequently to its transfer to Spain and lay-up.

The Tiger HAD has a maximum takeoff weight of 6.6 metric tons, a more powerful MTR390 engine, an upgraded optical sighting system, an identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator, improved ballistic protection and a new electronic warfare system.

In addition, France's Tiger HADs will have the capacity to launch Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, enabling them to perform multi-role missions that meet a variety of operational needs – including armed reconnaissance, combat support and attack.

To date, 64 Tiger HADs have been ordered: 40 by France and 24 by Spain (of which six are retrofits of previously-delivered HAP versions).

The state-of-the-art Tiger combat helicopter family is available in four main versions, with total orders placed for 206 of these rotary-wing aircraft. Currently, there are 64 Tigers in service with four countries: France, Germany, Spain, and Australia. Of these, three French helicopters have been operating successfully in the Afghanistan theater of operations for the past 16 months.

Press release issued by Airbus Helicopters on December 17, 2010


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