Eurocopter’s EC665 Tiger HAD Helicopters
August 9/19: German Helicopters Grounded Germany has grounded its Tiger attack helicopter fleet due to defective material being used in a vital component in the main rotor, the German newspaper Spiegel reports. The Bundeswehr is struggling with technical difficulties regarding the helicopter fleet. After a warning from the industry, no Tiger Helicopter will take off for the time being. Airbus is building the Helicopters, which provide UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army. The Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Airbus now informed all of its customers that bolts may have been installed in the rotor control, which do not meet the usual standards and could brake during flight. In order to evaluate the situation, the Bundeswehr has called an Air Safety Committee meeting.
Eurocopter’s Tiger had always had a very odd setup in that it came in two seemingly incomplete versions (HAP scout and HAC/UHT anti-tank), whose respective deficiencies severely limited multi-role flexibility and hence exports. The new Tiger HAD (Helicoptere Appui Destruction) variant fixes those deficiencies, and looks set to become the default version for new-build EC665 Tiger exports.
The HAD project began in December 2005, as the EU’s OCCAR organization for armament cooperation signed a formal contract in Bonn, Germany and set out initial procurement numbers for Spain. This was followed by the French DGA’s announcing the restructuring of its own 80-helicopter order, and each customer has made its own choices as the new variant has gone from concept to initial delivery.
EC665 Tiger Species
The French Tiger HAP
The German Tiger UHT
Fixing the Tiger: From ARH to HAD
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