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The Tiger Export Version: the New Reference for Combat Helicopters

Le Bourget, 14 June 2003

Since the disappearance of the Eastern Bloc in Europe, the development of the world geostrategic situation has lead defense staffs to increasingly favor the concept of multi-functional combat helicopters and reject specialized helicopters. Over the last few years, a new need has arisen for multi-mission aircraft capable of quickly changing configurations based on the needs of the moment. Eurocopter has met this need with the Tiger export version. Its weapons system has different configurations, allowing the Franco-German combat helicopter to fulfill the entire range of missions assigned to an aircraft of this type: reconnaissance, escort, ground combat support, air-to-air defense, and anti-tank fighting. The Tiger is the only aircraft in the world of its kind that stands out from all other combat helicopters. These specialized aircraft are completely out-of-synch with the new dimensioning imposed on armed forces, and with the increasingly asymmetrical warfare that characterizes the beginning of the 21st Century.

Designed using the most up-to-date technologies, the Tiger has steadily imposed itself as the most developed and ambitious aircraft of its generation. More than 80% of its structure has been constructed from composite materials so the aircraft is electromagnetically very stealthy. Thanks to the fully-optronic option chosen at the start for its weapon and navigation systems, it is equally stealthy in terms of infrared. The decision to use a ‘totally passive’ navigation and fire control system protects the Tiger from any risk of detection due to radar-type electromagnetic emissions.

The integrated assembly of the Tiger weapon system consists of a gun turret that is considered the best in the world today in terms of performance. The Tiger also has self-defense and ‘Fire and Forget’ air-to-air combat missiles with infrared guidance, rockets, second-generation Hellfire anti-tank weaponry, and third-generation Trigat missiles with infrared homing. The Trigat missile helps to reduce the vulnerability of the Tiger after firing and removes all risk of collateral damage, as the seeker locks on to the target before firing. The target is detected, designated, and identified in advance.

The future, multi-function version of the Tiger will also benefit from more powerful engines. The first prototype Tigers weighed 6.1 metric tons. The new engines will allow the mass to be sizably increased to 6.6 tons and, despite the increase in functions and the addition of the anti-tank capability, the new version Tiger will keep the same levels of performance in terms of speed and maneuverability as the HAP (Combat Support Helicopter).

At 285 km/h, the Tiger is extremely fast and has extraordinary maneuvering capabilities. The aircraft has shown its aptitude to fly in all ground configurations and perform contour tactical (nap-of-the-earth) flights at very low altitude both day and night.

With a mass of 6.6 metric tons, the Tiger is the only combat helicopter in the world that can independently perform a whole range of missions that normally require two to three aircraft from the five- to nine-ton weight category.

Both France and Germany ordered 80 aircraft in 1999, and the first series Tigers have started to roll off the assembly lines.

Australia has chosen to equip its Armed Forces with 22 Tigers. The final assembly of the first ARH Tigers has started at Brisbane and is two months ahead of schedule.

EADS is a global aerospace and defence company, and is the world’s second largest in terms of revenues, having achieved EUR 29.9 billion in 2002. EADS maintains a workforce of more than 100,000 and is a market leader in defence technologies, commercial aircraft, helicopters, space, military transport and combat aircraft, as well as related services, Its family of leading brands includes the commercial aircraft maker Airbus; Eurocopter, the world’s largest helicopter manufacturer; Astrium, the space company and MBDA, the world’s second largest missile company. EADS is also the biggest partner in the Eurofighter consortium and heads the A400M military transport aircraft program. EADS has more than 70 facilities in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. It is active in markets around the world, including the U.S. and Asia.

Jean Louis ESPES
Phone: + 33 (0)4 42 85 95 55
Fax: + 33 (0)4 42 85 95 64
Aéroport International Marseille Provence
F-13725 Marignane Cedex

Christina GOTZHEIN
Phone: + 49 (0) 89 6000 64 88
Fax: + 49 (0) 89 6000 44 37
Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH
D-81663 Munich

Phone: + 33 (0)4 42 85 60 51
Fax: + 33 (0)4 42 85 95 64
Aéroport International Marseille Provence
F-13725 Marignane Cedex – France

Christoph MÜLLER
Phone: + 49 (0) 906 71 45 65
Fax: + 49 (0) 906 71 46 74
Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH
D-86607 Donauwörth

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