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.
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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