UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Military


H160M Guépard
Joint Light Helicopter
(Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL)

Under the Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger – HIL) program, the French Army will receive 80 helicopters, while the navy and air force will receive 49 and 40 rotorcraft, respectively. The H160M helicopter will replace five legacy helicopter types in service with the three military services. Delivery is now scheduled for 2026, two years earlier than initially planned.

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, announced 27 May 2019 that the launch of the Joint Light Helicopter program had been brought forward to 2021. The HIL program, for which the Airbus Helicopters H160 was selected in 2017, was initially scheduled for launch in 2022 by the current military budget law. Launching the program earlier will enable delivery of the first H160Ms to the French Armed Forces to be advanced to 2026. The helicopter was also given its official name and will be designated as 'Guépard' (Cheetah) by the French Armed Forces.

The H160 was designed to be a modular helicopter, enabling its military version, with a single platform, to perform missions ranging from commando infiltration to air intercept, fire support and anti-ship warfare in order to meet the needs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force through the HIL program. The HIL program, for light joint helicopter, aims to equip the three armies with a single fleet of helicopters to replace five different platforms in service since the seventies for the oldest (Fennec, Gazelle, Panther, Alouette III and Dauphin). The H160M, military version of the H160 Airbus Helicopters, was chosen to be the common platform of the French armies. Modular and versatile, it will perform missions alongside the latest generation of specialized helicopters such as TIGRE, CAÏMAN Marine or CARACAL.

Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, thanked the French Ministry of Defence and the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA, saying, "We are proud that the HIL is considered a strategic program. I would like to thank the Ministry, the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA and the Armed Forces for their trust and for the close collaboration which helped create the conditions for the program to be brought forward within the framework of the current military budget law. This will make it possible to speed up the replacement of the older generation of aircraft, while optimising the support and availability of the French state’s helicopter fleet. Our teams are committed to delivering an aircraft in 2026 that meets the needs of the French Armed Forces in terms of availability, performance and capability, thus enabling it to rapidly become the new benchmark on the world’s medium-lift military helicopter market".

Built around a platform that will enter service in 2019, the HIL program will benefit from many of the advantages inherent in the civil H160, particularly in terms of support, with simplified maintenance and lower operating costs than the previous generation of helicopters in this category.

The first deliveries of the 169 Guépard helicopters, 15 more than the target of the previous LPM, will be able to intervene as early as 2026 instead of 2028. Under the control of the Directorate General of Armament, the Cheetah is prime contractor Airbus Helicopters; its engine will be supplied by Safran and its avionics and mission system by Thales.

The Directorate General of Armament (DGA) is currently conducting work to clarify the expected performance and characteristics of this new helicopter. Upstream studies, conducted in parallel, should advance technologies specific to certain military needs, in particular in the fields of avionics and radar . In liaison with the Armed Forces Staff, the DGA will continue to define the helicopter and its support system until launching the program.

"The launch of the HIL program secures the industrial activity of the Marignane site for the coming years. It is a program that will irrigate the entire French aviation industry, including its SMEs throughout the country, since 80% of H160 suppliers are based in France, mainly in the south. In total, more than 2,000 jobs will be sustainably supplied in France by the Joint Helicopter Léger and its derivatives for export," said Florence Parly.

The HIL program aims to equip the three armies with a single fleet of helicopters to replace five currently in service since the seventies for the oldest: the Army Gazelle, Alouette III, Dauphin and Panther of the Navy, and the Fennec of the Air Force. The H160, the latest in the Airbus Helicopters civil lineup, was chosen in 2017 to be militarized and meet the needs of the military. The concept of a single fleet must make it possible to pool the development costs between the three armies. It will also make it possible to optimize support by benefiting from scale effects, for example on spare parts stocks.

Thanks to its modularity and versatility, the Cheetah will guarantee in a national framework as interallied: the Army to carry out missions of armed reconnaissance, fire support, infiltration of special forces or medical evacuation; the Navy to carry out anti-ship, naval protection or maritime rescue missions; the Air Force to provide airspace protection, search and rescue, deep action or intelligence missions.

H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL) H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL) H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL) H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL) H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL) H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL) H160M Guépard - Joint Light Helicopter  (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger - HIL)






NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list



 
Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:06:07 ZULU