Eurocopter Tiger

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Eurocopter Tiger

Eurocopter Tiger in Australian Army colours at the Avalon Airshow Type military attack helicopter Manufacturer Eurocopter Group Maiden flight April 1991 Primary users German Army Australian Army French Army Spanish Army

The Eurocopter Tiger is an attack helicopter manufactured by the Eurocopter Group. In Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre. It is also designated the EC 665 or PAH-2.

In 1984 the French and German governments issued a requirement for an advanced multi-role battlefield helicopter. A joint venture consisting of Aerospatiale and MBB was subsequently chosen as the preferred supplier. Due to high costs, the program was canceled in 1986, but was relaunched during 1987. Subsequently, in November 1989, Eurocopter received a contract to build 5 prototypes. Three were to be unarmed testbeds and the other two armed prototypes: one for the German anti-tank variant and the other for the French escort helicopter variant. The first prototype first flew in April 1991. When Aerospatiale and MBB, among others, merged in 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group, the Tiger program was transferred as well. Serial production of the Tiger began in March 2002 and the first flight of the first production Tiger HAP for the French Army took place in March 2003. The delivery of the first of the eighty helicopters ordered by the French took place in September 2003. At the end of 2003 deliveries began of the 80 UHT version combat support helicopters ordered by Germany to the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement.

Export orders
In December 2001 Eurocopter was awarded the contract for the Australian Army’s "Air 87 Requirement", which was for 22 helicopters of the Tiger ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) version. The first Tiger ARH was scheduled to enter service in 2004. Some local assembly and production will also take place. In September 2003, Spain selected a variant of the Tiger HAP combat support helicopter - the Tiger HAD - for its army. The 24 helicopters of this type that have been ordered will be armed with the Trigat and Mistral missile systems. They will also have an uprated Enhanced MTR390 engine and a heavier payload. Deliveries are scheduled for 2007 - 2008[1]. France opted to upgrade most of its HAP Helicopter to HAD; so the HAC-Variant will never be built. In June 2006, the Rafael Spike-ER was selected by the Spanish Army to be the ATGM of the Spanish HAD, instead the previously announced Trigat missile system.

It should be noted that, while the Tiger has a conventional helicopter gunship configuration of the two crew sitting in tandem, it is somewhat unusual in that the pilot is in the front seat and the gunner is in the back, unlike all other current attack helicopters. As a consequence, the seats are offset to opposite sides of the centerline to improve the view forward for the gunner in the back.

Tiger HAP
The Tiger HAP/HCP (Helicoptere d'Appui Protection / Helicopter for Close Protection) is a mediumweight air-to-air combat and fire support helicopter built for the French Army. It is fitted with a chin-mounted 30 mm gun turret and 68 mm SNEB unguided rockets for the fire support role as well as Mistral air-to-air missiles.

UH Tiger
The UHT (from Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger; Ger. supporting helicopter Tiger) is a mediumweight multi-role fire support helicopter built for the Bundeswehr (German Army). The UHT can carry Trigat "fire and forget" and/or HOT3 anti-tank missiles as well as 70 mm SNEB airto-ground fire support rockets. Four AIM-92 Stinger missiles (2 on each side) are mounted for air-to-air combat. Unlike the HAP/HCP version it has no integrated gun turret, but a 12.7 mm gunpod can be fitted if needed. The German Army decided against the French 30 mm GIAT cannon that is used on other Tiger versions because of the recoil. The upgrade of the UHT with the Rheinmetall RMK30, a 30 mm recoilless autocannon, is not yet clarified due the budget. Another noticeable difference with the HAP version is the use of a mast-mounted sight, which has a second-generation infrared channel and a TV channel.

Countermeasures include radar/laser/missile launch/missile approach warning receivers and decoy launchers.

Tiger ARH
The Tiger ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) is the version used by the Australian Army. The Tiger ARH is a modified and upgraded version of the Tiger HAP with upgraded MTR390 engines as well as a laser designator incorporated in the Strix sight for the firing of Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles. Instead of the SNEB unguided missile, the ARH use the 70 mm(2.75Inch) rockets developed in Belgium.

Tiger HAD
The Tiger HAD (Hélicopter d'Appui Défense / Support-Defence Helicopter) version is essentially identical to the HAP version, but with 14% more engine power available due to the upgraded Enhanced MTR390 engines and a better ballistic protection. It can also be equipped with the Trigat anti-tank missiles that were originally developed for the German UHT version. The helicopter is suited for a support and fire suppression role and has been selected by the Spanish Army. The French Army Air Corps (ALAT) decided to upgrade most of their HAP helicopters to the HAD-Variant and thus the former HAC Variant (i.e. Hélicoptère Anti-Char or Helicopter Anti-Tank) was cancelled. By June 2006, 28 production Tigers were flying, including 18 aircraft delivered to their customers of 4 countries. These 28 aircraft had logged about 4000 flight hours together.

Users and Cost
The Tiger is used or will be used by the following countries:
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Germany: 80 aircraft - all of the UHT version France: 80 aircraft - 40 HAP and 40 HAD Spain: 24 aircraft of the HAD version Australia: 22 aircraft of the ARH version

The system cost (helicopter, armament, support) depends on number and version: 2002 Spain was submitted an offer about 28/20 helicopters.
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Tiger HAP $35-39 million USD Tiger ARH $36 million USD Tiger HAD $44-48 million USD

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Tiger UHT $38-43 million USD (Comparison Apache Longbow $48-52 million USD)

Specifications (Eurocopter Tiger)

General characteristics
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Crew: 2 (pilot & weapon systems officer) Length: 15.80 m main rotor to tail rotor; 14.08 m fuselage (51 ft 10 in) Rotor diameter: 13.00 m (42 ft 8 in) Height: 3.83 m (HAP); 5.20 m with mast-mounted sight (UHT) (12 ft 7 in / 17 ft 1 in)  Empty weight: 3,060 kg (6,745 lb)

  

Max takeoff weight: 6,000 kg (13,225 lb) Internal fuel capacity: 1,080 kg (2,380 lb) Powerplant: 2× Rolls-Royce plc/Turboméca/MTU MTR390 turboshafts, 873 kW (1,170 shp) each

     

Maximum speed: 280 km/h (175 mph) Range: 800 km combat; 1,300 km ferry (500 mi / 800 mi) Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,120 ft) Rate of climb: 10.7 m/s (2,105 ft/min) Disc loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²) Power/mass: hp/lb (kW/kg)


1x 30 mm GIAT 30 cannon in chin turret (HAP,HAD,ARH) or 1x 12.7 mm or 20 mm gun in pod (UHT)  8x Trigat and/or HOT3 (UHT,French HAD) or Rafael Spike-ER (Spanish HAD) or Hellfire II (ARH) anti-tank missiles  4x Stinger air-to-air missiles (UHT,ARH) or 4x Mistral air-to-air missiles (HAP,HAD)  Pods of 19x 70 mm SNEB (UHT,HAD) or Hydra (ARH), or 22x 68 mm SNEB (HAP), or 7x 70 mm SNEB (HAD) or 70 mm or 2.75" unguided rockets.

Popular culture
The helicopter's first major public appearance was in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, where the theft of a prototype was a major plot element. The Tiger also appears in the PC game Battlefield 2, as the HAP variant. It is the helicopter for the EU army in the expansion pack Euro Force.