Thales to supply standby flight instruments for Airbus H160M helicopter
Thales has been selected by Airbus Helicopters to provide its third-generation Integrated Electronic Standby Instruments (IESI) for the H135, H145, H160 and H175 helicopters.
This new-generation IESI is specifically designed for helicopter operations. Progressive entry into service will begin in 2026.
The IESI is designed to withstand high vibration levels and electromagnetic interference as well as offering optimal readability in all conditions, including when using night vision goggles. A single item of equipment, the IESI incorporates pressure probes and sensors, accelerometers and gyrometers, feeding an artificial horizon and an LCD display, showing speed, altitude and attitude information.
Thales says the new system has a 25% lower weight and 33% lower power consumption compared to the first generation.
The IESI will enter service in 2027 on the Guépard Joint Light Helicopter, France's military version of the H160.
The French Armed Forces is acquiring 169 H160Ms, 80 for the army, 49 for the navy and 40 for the air force. The EU has reported the contract is worth $9.8 billion.
The H160M will be capable of performing missions ranging from commando infiltration to air intercept, fire support and anti-ship warfare.
The 160M is scheduled to replace six types of helicopters, including the SA 341/342 Gazelle, Alouette III, AS 365 Dauphin SP and AS 555 Fennec.
In June 2019, the French DGA defence procurement agency selected Thales's FlytX avionics suite for its future H160s. According to the manufacturer, the customisable and scalable FlytX can be tailored to specific requirements of crews and missions and can be interfaced in flight and on the ground with open-world applications in a cyber-protected environment.
The aircraft also carries a self-protection suite, a satellite communications system and a tactical data link.
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