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Modification work begins on French Navy H160s for maritime SAR

27th May 2022 - 10:45 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy in Paris

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Babcock receives the first H160 used in France. (Photo: JM Tanguy)

The first of six H160s is now being modified for French Navy SAR missions.

Efforts by the French Navy to enhance its land-based SAR helicopter capabilities are progressing, after Babcock began work to modify the first of six H160 aircraft from Airbus Helicopters.

Babcock received the first H160 on 17 May and modification work is expected to take four months at Canet-des-Maures near Toulon.

The Flotilla 32F naval squadron will operate the six helicopters to replace NH90s on SAR missions from Lanvéoc-Poulmic in Brittany (three aircraft) and Cherbourg in Normandy (one aircraft). Two H160s will also replace a pair of Dauphin helicopters operated from Hyères near Toulon.

The new SAR helicopters feature as standard

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