Spain Orders Mistral Missiles for its Tiger Helicopters
As “France & Spain Order New Eurocopter Tiger HAD (updated)” noted, the Eurocopter Tiger is something of an odd duck whose two initial versions (French HAP, German HAC-UHT) each seemed to each be missing a vital piece that was present on the other version. Export orders to Spain (Tiger HAD) and Australia (Tiger ARH) both move to correct some of those deficiencies, and Spain has a few Tiger HAP helicopters from initial deliveries that will be converted to the HAD variant.
Spain’s helicopters will have air-air missile capability, and the short-range MBDA Mistral missile is the helicopter’s default anti-air armament. Spanish Army, airborne, and Marines units already deploy Mistral missiles in a man-portable air defense (MANPAD) role, so it makes a great deal of sense to add a proposed EUR 27.7 million order, spread over 5 years (2007-2011), in order to equip Spain’s Tiger Helicoptero de Apoyo y Destruccion craft with Mistral ATAM missiles and launchers. Another contract will complement the Mistrals with Israeli Spike-LR anti-armor missiles, which also have some anti-helicopter capability. Spanish Council of Ministers release – translation help via reader Pedro Lucio.
UPDATE: A EUR 27.7 million contract was announced on Feb 6/08.