Four H160s for French Navy
The French Navy is to operate the H160 helicopter for search and rescue missions, Airbus Helicopters announced on 10 February.
The helicopters will be delivered under a partnership between the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), Airbus Helicopters, Babcock and Safran Helicopter Engines.
The navy will receive four of the type from 2022, which will act as an interim fleet for a period of ten years between the retirement of the Alouette III and introduction of the H160M Guépard from 2026.
Airbus Helicopters and its partners will also be responsible for supporting the fleet with a high level of availability and performance commitments. In addition, French Navy operational feedback will be monitored to benefit the design of the military version of the H160 and its support system.
Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO, said: ‘We are proud that the French Navy will be operating the H160 for their search and rescue missions. We are sure that the improved situational awareness, increased pilot assistance, and visibility that the H160 provides will prove to be a valuable asset for their critical and demanding missions.
‘Our industrial partnership with Babcock and Safran Helicopter Engines will allow us to ensure the highest level of availability for the French Navy and we are honoured to have been entrusted with this mission.’
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