Following a reversal of French military budget cuts, the country’s defense procurement agency has re-committed to attack-helicopter orders it previously canceled.
France’s Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (DGA) announced Tuesday that it had ordered seven additional Tiger HAD attack helicopters from Airbus Helicopters primarily to support Operation Barkhane—a counter-terrorism operation in the Sahel region of Africa. The aircraft are slated for delivery between 2017 and 2018, bringing the country’s inventory of Tiger helicopters up to 67.
France had cut its initial order from 80 to 60 Tiger helicopters as part of the country’s 2014 to 2019 military program law. But France has seen a renewed enthusiasm in both military spending and enrollment following terrorist acts, such as the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January. According to Defense News, France plans to boost its 2016 defense spending by 600 million euros following a Sept. 30 bill passed by its parliament.