PARIS --- Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the order for a fleet of helicopters made up of four H160s and twelve Dauphins.
This interim fleet will allow the French Navy to ensure the continuity of its missions between the withdrawal of service from its Alouette III and the arrival of the future light joint helicopter Guépard.
The French defense procurement agency (DGA) notified a contract on January 31, 2020 for four new H160s for hire-purchase with the group formed by Airbus Helicopters, Babcock and Safran Helicopters Engines.
The latest addition to the Airbus Helicopters civil line, the H160 is at the forefront of innovation. These four devices will be operational, from 2022, for a period of 10 years. They will be used for search and rescue missions in the Atlantic and the English Channel. Their support will be provided by manufacturers with a high availability commitment.
This fleet will thus acquire a first return of experience for the benefit of the Cheetah, a militarized version of the H160, the first development work of which was commissioned last December by the DGA.
In addition, the Aviation Maintenance Department (DMAé) also ordered, on December 31, 2019, the lease and support of 12 Dauphins from the joint company formed by Heli-Union and DCI.
Once modified to operate from French Navy ships, these helicopters will enter service at the end of the year for a period of ten years.