PARIS --- In her New Year’s message to the armed forces on Jan. 21, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced the award of a global support contract for the Fennec helicopters of the Army.
Negotiations conducted by the Aeronautical Maintenance Department (DMAé), created in April 2018, were finalized with the industrial group Héli Dax after a competition. This outsourcing contract is fully in line with the transformational strategy for aeronautical sustainment (Maintien en Condition Opérationnel, MCO) in accordance with the 2019-2025 Military Program Law.
This ten-year contract covers the 18 Fennec helicopters operated for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) training for pilots from the three armed services.
These helicopters will, gradually and during the current year, be made available to the industrial partner, which is contractually committed to providing the DMAé and the Army Aviation School (EALAT) the availability and services required to train pilots.
This initial contract is the result of intensive work and negotiations conducted by the DMAé for the benefit of the Armed Forces. It makes it possible to substantially reduce the sustainment cost per flight hour, from about 3,500 euros to 1,800 euros, thus attesting to the merits of the new strategy of aeronautical sustainment demanded by the Armed Forces Minister.
It paves the way for the award of other global and long-term sustainment contracts with a single industrial prime contractor, empowered to provide a wider range of services.
About the Army’s Fennec helicopters:
The Fennec Terre helicopter is a training helicopter used to train pilots for IFR (instrument flight rules) flight operations. The main technical characteristics of this aircraft are:
-- 2 Turboméca turboshafts (Power: 528 hp per turbine).
-- Three-blade rotor.
-- Capacity: 6 places.
* Length: 12.94 meters
* Height: 3.34 meters,
* Rotor disc diameter: 10.69 meters.
-- Maximum take-off weight: 2,600kg.
-- Cruising speed: 240 km/h
-- Autonomy: 2h30 (+20 'of reserve)