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Eurocopter EC665 Tiger/Tigre "1991"

The Eurocopter Tiger is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter which first entered service in 2003. It is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter), the successor company to Aérospatiale's and DASA's respective helicopter divisions, which designate it as the EC665. Following their languages, in Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre.

Eurocopter EC665 Tiger/Tigre "2017"

Role Attack helicopter
National origin Multinational
Manufacturer Eurocopter Airbus Helicopters
First flight 27 April 1991
Introduction 2003
Status In service
Primary users German Army / Australian Army
French Army / Spanish Army
Produced 1991–present
Number built 180 as of July 2019

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Eurocopter EC665 Tiger/Tigre "1991"

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Airbus /Eurocopter EC665 Tiger "1991"

The Eurocopter Tiger is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter which first entered service in 2003. It is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter), the successor company to Aérospatiale‘s and DASA‘s respective helicopter divisions, which designate it as the EC665. Following their languages, in Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre.

Development of the Tiger started during the Cold War, and it was initially intended as an anti-tank helicopter platform to be used against a Soviet ground invasion of Western Europe. During its prolonged development period the Soviet Union collapsed, but France and Germany chose to proceed with the Tiger, developing it instead as a multirole attack helicopter. It achieved operational readiness in 2008.

The Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate other advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Improved variants have since entered service, outfitted with more powerful engines and compatible with a wider range of weapons. Since the type’s introduction to service, Tigers have been used in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali.

Design

The Tiger is capable of undertaking a wide range of combat missions, including armed reconnaissance and surveillance, anti-tank and close air support, escort and protection of friendly assets; and can operate during day or night in all-weather conditions, and has been designed to include operations in the aftermath of nuclear, biological, or chemical warfare.[12][39] The Tiger can also be used in the maritime environment, able to operate from the decks of ships including frigates and during extreme weather conditions.[40] Amongst the Tiger’s notable qualities, it possesses very high levels of agility, much of which is attributed to the design of its 13-meter four-bladed hingeless main rotor; the Tiger can perform full loops and negative g manoeuvres. Power is provided by a pair of FADEC-controlled MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce MTR390 turboshaft engines.

The Tiger has a tandem-seat ‘glass cockpit‘ and is operated by a two-man crew; the pilot is placed in the forward position, with the gunner seated behind.[43][44] Either of the crew members can manage the weapon systems or the primary flight controls, switching roles if necessitated; in addition to flying the aircraft, the Tiger’s pilot would typically be in control of the self-defence systems and communications, as well as some secondary weapons functions.[45] While some of the weapons use dedicated control interfaces, such as the anti-tank Trigat missile, air-to-air weapons can be managed via controls on both sets of collective and cyclic sticks

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Eurocopter EC665 Tiger/Tigre (1991)

In July 2009, three French Tiger HAP helicopters of the 5th Helicopter Regiment arrived at Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan, marking the first active deployment of the Tiger into an active combat zone.[66] The helicopters performed armed reconnaissance and fire support missions, acting in support of coalition ground troops fighting a Taliban insurgency.[67] The Tigers had their operational certification in Afghanistan in early August 2009;[68] one French officer described the Tiger’s role in the theatre as “find, attack, suppress, seize, raid, and support”.[12] By July 2010, it was reported that the Tiger detachment had totalled 1,000 operational hours in Afghanistan.[69] On 4 February 2011, a French Tiger crashed during a night time operation about 30 miles east of Kabul and both crew members suffered light injuries

Specifications

  • Crew: 2 (pilot and weapon systems officer)
  • Length: 14.08 m (46 ft 2 in) fuselage
  • Height: 3.83 m (12 ft 7 inch
  • Empty weight: 3,060 kg (6,746 lb)
  • Gross weight: 5,090 kg (11,222 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 6,000 kg (13,228 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 1,080 kg (2,381 lb) internals
  • Powerplant: 2 × MTR MTR390 turboshaft engines, 972 kW (1,303 shp) each
  • Maximum speed:
    290 km/h (180 mph, 160 kn) with rotor head mast 315 km/h (196 mph; 170 kn) without rotor head mast
    Range: 800 km (500 mi, 430 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,300 km (810 mi, 700 nmi) with external tanks.
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10.7 m/s (2,110 ft/min)
  • Disk loading: 38.343 kg/m2 (7.853 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.38 kW/kg (0.23 hp/lb)

Guns:
1× 30 mm (1.18 in) GIAT 30 cannon in chin turret, with up to 450 rounds.

On each of its two inner hardpoints and two outer hardpoints the Eurocopter Tiger can carry a combination of the following weapons:

Inner hardpoints:
1x 20 mm (0.787 in) autocannon pods, or 22x 68 mm (2.68 in) SNEB unguided rockets in a pod, or 19x 70 mm (2.75 in) Hydra 70 unguided rockets in a pod or 4x AGM-114 Hellfire missiles (Australia/France) or 4x Spike-ER missiles (Spain)

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In January 2016, it was announced that France was working with Australia, Germany, and Spain to define a proposed further upgrade to its Tiger fleet, referred to as Tiger Mk3 upgrade. A key aspect of this upgrade, being scheduled to take place around 2023, is to be the adoption of a common anti-tank missile, as well as further improvements to the communication system.[99] In the 2018–19 time frame the French Army will be further upgrading its Tiger fleet with upgraded avionics and communications systems, and laser-guided rockets, the Tiger Mk3 upgrade.

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