France Orders H160M Helicopters

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The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for the development and procurement of the new H160M Guépard helicopter. The agreement covers the development of multiple prototypes along with an initial fleet of 30 aircraft. The French Ministry for the Armed Forces is expected to order 169 H160Ms in total with deliveries starting in 2027.

“The H160M will bring new capabilities to the armed forces as it is adapted to modern warfare thanks to its increased connectivity, maneuverability, low acoustic footprint, and a fully integrated support system,” said Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even. “Having the French armed forces, a world reference, as our launch customer for the H160M is extremely valuable.”

The H160M is derived from Airbus’ H160 utility helicopter, which received its EASA type certification in July 2020. It will come equipped with the Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system, Thales FlytX cockpit avionics suite and AirMaster C radar. In addition to satellite communication and tactical data link systems, it will be outfitted with the MBDA ANL anti-ship missile, pod-mounted and door-mounted guns. According to Airbus, the H160M will be capable of performing missions ranging from commando infiltration to air intercept, fire support and anti-ship warfare.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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