Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first two Tiger HAD Block 2 attack helicopters to the French Army, following its Nov. 21 qualification by the French General Directorate for Armament. The new Tigers will join those already in service, which have been deployed to Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Libya and Mali.
Photo courtesy Airbus Helicopters
The “Block 2” version now offers the full capacity of the HAD version, including improved targeting accuracy for rockets, the addition of combat external fuel tanks that provide longer flight times while still enabling the full complement of armament to be used, an extension of the flight domain in which Spike and Hellfire anti-tank missiles can be fired, and the integration of digital communications for operations in today’s digital battlefield. The HAD block 2 helicopters are also “navalized,” allowing their use from ships and in sea environments.
The newly-delivered HAD Block 2 aircraft will be operated by GAMSTAT (the aero-mobility group belonging to the technical “section” of the French Army), then assigned to the 1st Army Combat Helicopter Regiment, located at the Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base in France’s Moselle region. This unit already operates HAD Block 1helicopters, which have been deployed to the Central African Republic.