Spain and France Launch Tiger HAD Development Work

Released on Wednesday, December 8, 2004
AH-64D Apache
Tiger HAD
Tiger HAP
Tiger UHT
OCCAR - Organisme Conjoint De Cooperation En Matiere D'Armament
Eurocopter has announced that Spain and France have agreed to launch the Tirger HAD development work following the signing ceremony between the industrial team; consisting of Eurocopter, MTR/ITP of Spain, SAGEM of France and INDRA of Spain; and OCCAR on behalf of the two countries noted above.

OCCAR will act as the contracting authority for the Tiger HAD program. The Director of OCCAR signed the agreement with the industrial partners in Toulouse, France. At the end of October, OCCAR received the green light from the two countries in order to launch the development phase of the project.

HAD, which means Support Suppressor Helicopter, blends some of the main features implemented into Tiger UHT and Tiger HAP variants to get a truly multi-purpose/multi-mission helicopter using a single rotary wing platform. The existence of two different variants to carry out the wide range of missions attributed to combat helicopters was deemed as the main disadvantage of Tiger compared to Apache, specially to gain orders from export customers.

Tiger HAD will combine UHT variant air-to-ground attack capability employing anti-armor missiles with combat support capabilities from HAP variant. France will acquire helicopters outfitted as HAD variants from its current order covering 80 Tiger helicopters, while Spain will acquire 24 HADs for its Army as replacement for aging BO105s. Furthermore, the new multi-purpose variant has already gained interest from many other countries.

The Spanish Tiger acquisition agreement includes delivery of Tiger helicopters in the French HAP configuration for the training of initial crews starting in 2005. The helicopters to be delivered to the Spanish Army will achieve initial operational capability in 2006. Subsequently, the Spanish helicopters will be converted into HAD variants expected to be available from 2008.

The Tiger helicopter will ensure enhanced interoperability between the armed forces of Germany, France and Spain. Moreover, this acquisition represents that Spain joins the Tiger program and becomes the third leg of Eurocopter group along with France and Germany. This decision also facilities the building up of a credible common European Defense.


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