The Tiger is manufactured by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters), the successor company to Aérospatiale's and DASA's respective helicopter divisions, which designate it as the EC665.
The Tiger constitutes an entirely new generation of helicopters for the armed forces of Germany and France. One of the most advanced combat helicopter in the world today, Tiger offers flexibility and mission diversity to meet the new challenges facing Western alliance and United Nations member countries following the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. Rapid reaction forces, the Franco-German Brigade, Euro-Corps and similar units can make use of Tiger's inherent multi-mission capabilities which include: dedicated anti-tank missions, mixed ground-target engagements, escort/combat support missions, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well as protection missions for unarmed transport helicopters flying humanitarian aid missions.
The Germans and French co-developed the PAH-2 Tiger attack helicopter, which has many of the capabilities of the American AH-64 Apache. The EUROCOPTER Group, owned 70% by AEROSPATIALE France and 30% by Daimler Aerospace (DASA) of Germany, designs and manufactures a wide range of civil and military helicopters in the 2 to 10 ton class. Today, EUROCOPTER is the world's leading manufacturer of civil helicopters, with more than 11.000 helicopters in service in 126 countries.
The multi-role UHT is capable of performing armed reconnaissance, tank strikes, ground combat support, and air combat/escort. For these missions, the UHT can be equipped with anti-tank HOT or fire-and-forget Trigat LR missiles, Stinger air-to-air missiles, rockets and a gun pod. All these systems have undergone extensive firing trials, demonstrating the specified functions and performance of the weapons systems and the helicopter platform.
The modular design concept of the Tiger enables it to be a multi-mission platform from the outset. The basic helicopter can be equipped with different operational systems, providing in-depth flexibility and multi-functionality. The Tiger has all-weather, day-and-night operational capability.
Over 80 percent of the airframe is made of composites, which means less weight, better crash protection and a low electromagnetic signature. The Tiger benefits from new generation engines and rotors, and a glass cockpit with display units that decrease crew workload. An integrated helmet system and a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) visionics piloting system are used for night flying missions. The Tiger's equipment also includes a third-generation target identification and acquisition system.
On the UH-Tiger, the detectors for the gunner are located in the mast-mounted sight, and for the pilot, on the nose-mounted sight. The mast-mounted sight is used to detect and identify the target. The IR signature is reduced by directing the exhaust gases upward after mixing with cold air. The rotor's quiet-design airfoil section also reduces the noise footprint of the helicopter. Its narrow fuselage minimizes visual detectability, and the airframe structure eliminates reflections of radar and infrared waves thanks to an anti-radar absorbent skin. The Tiger is also fitted with nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) protection. And no other combat helicopter can match the Tiger by offering such a comprehensive and effective solution for the conflicts of the future.
The German and French armed forces put the Tiger's inherent multi-role capabilities to full use. Typical missions would be tank strikes, neutralizing ground targets, combat support and escort, surveillance and reconnaissance, and protection of unarmed helicopters taking part in humanitarian aid operations. Both countries used varying mission equipment packages. The Tiger is a major contribution to the standardisation of weapons systems between Germany and France and the enhancement of interoperability between the armed forces.
The Tiger HAD is Airbus Helicopter's multi-role attack helicopter. It is designed to perform armed reconnaissance, air or ground escort, air-to-air combat, ground firing support, destruction and anti-tank warfare, day or night and in adverse conditions. The Tiger attack helicopter has proven its capabilities during operational deployments in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Libya and Mali. The enhanced Tiger HAD variant provides air-to-ground missile capability, improved target acquisition and ballistic protection, 14 percent more power, an evolved electronic warfare suite, and the latest interrogation systems.
The Tiger HAD is highly agile, benefitting from a 13-meter, four-bladed hingeless main rotor. It is likewise powerful, thanks to two enhanced MTR390 turboshaft engines. Avionics incorporated on the Tiger HAD are the EUROGRID battlefield management and digital map display systems, integrated radio and satellite communications and data transfer links, an IFF transponder/interrogator, and a high-authority 4-axis digital automatic flight control system.
The gyro-stabilized roof-mounted sight has a TV camera, thermal imager, laser rangefinder, laser designator, and a laser spot tracker capable of simultaneously following up to four targets. In addition, the Tiger HAD has combat external fuel tanks for longer mission flight times, an extended flight domain in which Spike and Hellfire anti-tank missiles can be fired, and digital communications for the modern digitized battlefield. Tiger HAD Block 2 helicopters are also “navalized,” allowing operations from ships and in maritime environments.
With its tandem-seat glass cockpit layout, both the pilot in the forward position and the aft-seated gunner can manage the weapon systems and primary flight controls, switching roles if necessary. Each crew member’s pair of multifunction LCD displays is used to display sensor data and information on internal systems, as well as to interact with the aircraft's systems. An additional display system is provided with the helmet-mounted display (HMD) – which presents flight and fire data with digitally-enhanced optics to the flying pilot. The HMD also enables the gunner to interact with, and control, the on-board weapon systems and view targeting data.
Built for ground attack missions, the Tiger HAD’s turreted gun is one of the most accurate and lethal weapons of its type, thanks to the efficient fire control system. The gun is linked to both the roof- and the helmet-mounted sights, enabling quick and easy target acquisition. Total ammunition capacity is 450 rounds, with a firing rate of 750 rounds per minute. 68 mm. or 70 mm. unguided rockets can be swapped in place of the other weapon types without changes to the helicopter’s fixed parts. Capacity is up to 68 for the 68 mm. rockets, and 52 for the 70 mm. rockets. Growth potential exists for laser-guided rockets. The Hellfire laser-guided and Spike ER infrared or fiber optics-guided air-to-ground missiles are qualified on the Tiger HAD, with both capable of 8,000 m. ranges in self designation mode.
Four “fire and forget” Mistral air-to-air missiles and the Nexter 30M781 30 mm. turreted gun give the Tiger HAD a powerful air-to-air combat capability. A total of four Mistral missiles are accommodated on outer launchers, with a range of up to 6,000 meters.
The Tiger HAD’s agility during flight, combined with its flat and narrow silhouette, low radar infrared signature and passive weapon system, significantly reduce this helicopter’s vulnerability on the battlefield. Further enhancing survivability are the Tiger HAD’s ballistic protection, high crashworthiness and self-sealing tanks, and system architecture with designed-in redundancies and segregation.
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