Homecoming for Spanish Army's First Eurocopter Tigers
Marignane, 16 May 2007
The Spanish Army’s first three Tiger helicopters have arrived at their final destination, the Coronel Sánchez Bilbao military base in Almagro, where they are to serve the Spanish armed forces.
In preparation for the Spanish homecoming, the eight pilots and 16 maintenance technicians of the Spanish military contingent were trained by Eurocopter staff at the Le Luc military base in France. Eurocopter has also been carrying out maintenance on the helicopters, providing engineering support and managing spare parts and ground equipment. Eurocopter will continue support activities for the Spanish Army at the Almagro base for these three HAP Tigers as well as for the three remaining Tigers to be delivered.
The Spanish Army will have 24 HAD Tigers at its disposal in due course; 18 Tigers are to be delivered in HAD configuration, and the other six – which are in HAP version – are to be retrofitted to HAD. In comparison to the original HAP version, the HAD Tiger features a Spike or Hellfire air-to-ground missile, an uprated engine ensuring an increased useful load, IFF system, electronic warfare system, and enhanced ballistic protection.
The Spanish HADs will be assembled on the forthcoming final assembly line – operational from 2008 onwards – at the new Eurocopter factory in Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha. Spain is already the exclusive producer of tail booms for the Tiger, manufactured entirely from composite materials.
The Tiger is the highest performance combat helicopter available on the market today. The French, German, Australian, and Spanish armed forces have ordered a total of 206 Tigers, and are currently served by 24 of these aircraft.
In 2003, the Spanish government selected the Tiger as the combat helicopter for its armed forces. Since then, an increasingly close working relationship has developed between Eurocopter and the Spanish government, consolidated in subsequent years when major contracts were signed for 48 EC135s and 45 NH90s. Establishing a large industrial facility locally attested to the central role that Eurocopter Spain is set to play within the Group. The Spanish structure is now fully equipped for engineering, production, upgrade, delivery and logistical support activities. Albacete is entirely responsible for marketing, program direction and customer support.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, the worldwide number one for aeronautics, space, defense, and associated services. Eurocopter Group employs approximately 14,000 people. In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer with a €3.8 billion turnover, orders for 615 new helicopters, and a 52% share of the civil and semi-public market. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is bolstered by 17 subsidiaries on five continents and a dense network of distributors, approved agents, and maintenance centers. Over 9,800 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service, meeting the needs of approximately 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter boasts the most extensive range of civilian and military helicopters in the world. The Group’s products constitute 30% of the entire worldwide fleet of helicopters.
100 Years of Vertical Flight
In 1907, Paul Cornu achieved the first vertical flight in history. Since then, technological advances, innovative ideas, but most of all a conquering spirit, have made the helicopter an indispensable instrument to save lives, protect citizens, and contribute to international economic development. In 2007, Eurocopter is proud to celebrate this centenary by sharing its passion for helicopters.
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