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78+28 79+10
HEER 78+28 HEER 79+10
RNethAF N-110 RNethAF N-228
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74+40 Airbus Helicopters EC665 UH Tiger c/n 1040 / UHT40 - German Army (HEER) - KHR36 - Fassberg AFB in Germany - 13 June 2019 Fassberg AFB (ETHS)

The Airbus Helicopters EC665 Tiger is a four-bladed, twin-engined multi-role ground attack helicopter, with two crew members: one pilot and one gunner. In 1984, following the demand of France and Germany during the Cold War, for an an anti-tank helicopter platform to be used against a Soviet ground invasion of Western Europe, a team of Aérospatiale and MBB started the development of the Tiger. During its prolonged development period the Sovjet Union collapsed, but France and Germany chose to proceed with the Tiger, developing it instead as a multirole attack helicopter. The protoyype 505 Tiger was flown first on 27 April 1991. In 1992, Aérospatiale and MBB, among other companies, merged to form the Eurocopter Group; this led to considerable consolidation of the aerospace industry and the Tiger project itself. The Eurocopter EC665 Tiger helicopter was originally developed for France and Germany in three configurations, UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army; HAD multi-role combat for the French Army and HAP combat support for the French Army. 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. On 18 June 1999, Germany and France placed orders for an initial batch of 160 Tiger helicopters: 80 UH for Germany and 40 HAP and 40 HAD for France. Serial production of the Tiger began in March 2002 and the first flight of the production Eurocopter Tiger HAP for France took place in March 2003. The first HAP version was delivered in March 2005. The first UH Tiger for Germany was delivered in April 2005. On 15 March 2013, the German Defense Ministry and Eurocopter signed a memorandum of understanding to cut the order for Tigers from 80 to 68 helicopters. In January 2014, French authorities and Airbus helicopters agreed to cut 20 Tiger combat helicopters and retrofit to simplify the two-model fleet to the more capable attack version. Since its introduction of the Tiger the helicopter also ordered by Australia ( 22 Tiger ARH - Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) and Spain (24 Tiger HAD). Since the type's introduction to service, Tigers have been used in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali.

Germany ordered 80 Tiger helicopters from Eurocopter. During 2010, the German government announced spending cuts in the defence section that also effected the order of 80 Tiger helicopters for the Bundeswehr. This order had to be reduced to just 40 helicopters, but on 15 March 2013, the German Defense Ministry and Eurocopter signed a memorandum of understanding to cut the order for Tigers from 80 to 68 helicopters. In April 2015, it became clear that four of the Tigers would be used for ground training purposes, while one would be delivered to the WTD 61 at Manching and one Tiger to KHR36 at Fritzlar as replacement for the Tiger lost on 4 March 2013. In the period between January 2013 and June 2014, Tigers were deployed in a special configuration (ASGARD) in Afghanistan. Twelve helicopters had been converted to this state of construction. Based on the experience gained during the operation, the ASGARD configuration was defined as the basis for the construction status of all the Tigers to be operated by the Bundeswehr. To this end, an agreement was signed in 2017 to convert another 33 helicopters into the ASGARD configuration.
The 2014-built, Airbus Helicopters EC665 UT Tiger s/n 1040 with the Partner Companies Identification code UHT40 was testflown as 74+40, and entered service with KHR36 - Kampfhubschrauberregiment 36 at Heeresflugplatz Fritzlar in 2015. All operational UH Tiger helicopters fly with KHR36 - Kampfhubschrauberregiment 36 "Kurhessen" at Fritzlar. On 13 June 2019, EC665 UH Tiger 74+40 was seen at Fliegerhorst Fassberg.

page last updated 16-07-2019
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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