The French Army received its first two HAD Block 2 versions of the Airbus Helicopters Tigres. These combat helicopters (Hélicoptère d’Appui Destruction) have additional enhancement to the versions already in service.
The Block 2 version has an improved targeting accuracy for rockets, the addition of combat external fuel tanks that provide longer flight times while still enabling the full complement of armament to be used, an extension of the flight domain in which Spike and Hellfire anti-tank missiles can be fired, and the integration of digital communications for operations. The HAD block 2 helicopters are also “navalized,” allowing their use from ships and in sea environments.
The newly-delivered HAD Block 2 aircraft will be operated by GAMSTAT (the air mobility group belonging to the technical “section” of the French Army), then assigned to the 1st Army Combat Helicopter Regiment, located at the Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Airbase in France’s Moselle region. This unit already operates HAD Block 1helicopters, which have been deployed to the Central African Republic recently.
The Armée the Terre already flies six HAD Block 1 Tigres, alongside 40 of the HAP version (Hélicoptère d’Appui Protection) for support and escort. Germany, Spain and Australia together fly 62 other Tiger attack choppers.
Source: Airbus Helicopters with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger