Just last week, Airbus Helicopters reported that the French Armaments General Directorate (DGA) had confirmed the option of two more H160s for the French Navy.
As mentioned by the company, these aircraft will join the four H160s duo already contracted in 2020, the first of which is currently being assembled by Airbus helicopters in Marignen, in the south of France. The six H160s will be delivered in search and rescue (SAR) configuration and will gradually begin operations from May 202 Lan from Lanbok-Polmik Naval Air Station (Brittany), Cherberg Airport (Normandy) and Hires Naval Air Station (Provence). Awaiting delivery within the framework of the H160M “Guépard” French Jont Light Helicopter (Hélicopt Intere Interarmées Léger: HIL) program, these H160s will currently take on SH missions operated by NH90 and Panthers, allowing these combat helicopters to complete their main task. On warships at sea.
The French Navy’s operational response to these H160s benefits the design of the military version of the aircraft and the associated support system.
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The H160s were ordered by Babcock in 2011c and will be partnered and equipped with Airbus Helicopter, and Safran helicopter engines, ensuring a high level of availability for the French Navy and continuity of SAR operations along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. Built by Airbus helicopters, the six H160s will be equipped with winches and modular cabins that can be customized for each mission. The H160s will be certified to use night vision goggles that are required for nighttime sweating operations.
In response to the French Navy’s requirements for six H160s, the government will be modified into a lighter military configuration by Bebak, a provider of rigorous and complex engineering services. Bebek will integrate Safran Electronics and Defense new-generation electro-optical system, Euroflyer 1010.
The H160, as a next-generation mid-twin-engine aircraft powered by Arano engines, is modular in design to address missions from offshore transportation, private and commercial aviation, emergency medical services, and public services.
1 16 H H160 May, “Guapard” is observed in the frame of the HIL program to replace five types of helicopters in service with the French Armed Forces.