Tag Archives: Tiger

Germany to send Tigers and NH90s to Mali

The Germany government is planning to send four NH90s medium transport helicopters and four Tiger light attack helicopter to Mali. In the African country, the helos will be used for the UN’s MINUSMA peace keeping mission. They will replace Dutch CH-47D Chinook and AH-64D Apache helicopters.

If parliament in Berlin approves the proposal, the helicopters will head for Mali in the first half of this year. The NH90s will be used for transport tasks, including the evacuation of wounded personnel. The Tigers will be there to provide securty. Both the NH90 and Tiger were used in Afghanistan before by the Germans, who encountered difficulties in operating the NH90 in ‘hot and high’ conditions.

Apart from Afghanistan, the Tiger attack helicopter also saw earlier use  in Libya, Somalia and Mali.

The Dutch contigent has been in Mali for three years. On 17 March 2015, a Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Apache crashed with fatal consequences for the two crew. The cause was recently found to be a design flaw in the helicopter’s control system.

© 2017 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A German Tiger attack helicopter (Image © Marcel Burger)


Poland now ponders on attack helicopters

Poland’s hesitation when it concerns miltary helicopters must drive manufacturers out of their minds, and Airbus Helicopters especially. The company saw a 3 billion USD deal for H225M Caracal choppers fall through earlier this year and now wants Poland to select the Tiger as its new attack helicopter. Best cards are for the AH-64 Apache and AH-1Z Viper, however.

Airbus Helicopters is ‘laying the groundwork’ for future Tiger production in Poland in the same way it has been doing with the Caracal, says a statement released on Thursday 28 April. The European company taps into the fact that disagreements over off sets eventually caused the Caracal to largely collapse.

Poland doesn’t seem to have much eye for the Airbus Helicopter offer and mostly looks at the AH-64 Apache or AH-1Z Viper as its new attack helo. The former would be locally built by PZL Swidnik, while the latter could be produced by PZL Mielec.

Warsaw has a history troublesome history when it comes to selecting helicopters, however. A long process led to the selection of the Caracal as the country’s new combat search and rescue (CSAR) platform… until it was decided to look at other contenders once again.

Meanwhile, classic Mi-8 Hip transport helicopters soldier on and ageing Mi-24 Hind helicopters keep fulfilling the attack role.

The struggle could be associated with the fact that Poland also modestly produces helicopters on its own.  PZL Swidnik furthermore is tied to AgustaWestLan, while PZL Mielec is involved with Sikorysky.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Tiger Helicopter in production at Airbus Helicopters in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

France: extra Tiger attack helicopters

Airbus Helicopters chalked up an order for seven more Tiger attack helos from France on Tuesday 22 December. Deliveries of these additional helicopters are due in 2017 and 2018. The order brings the total number of Tigers that will eventually be operated by the French Army Aviation up to 67.

“The French Army Aviation have put the Tiger to the test in multiple theatres and the aircraft has proved essential to the success of their missions,” said Guillaume Faury, president and CEO of Airbus Helicopters in a statement on the additional Tiger order.

Military missions

Since July 2009, Tigers have been deployed continuously by the French Army in different areas, such as Afghanistan, Libya and the African Sahel region. While deployments in Afghanistan and Libya have come to an end, Tigers are still supporting missions in the Sahel, logging more than 2,000 flight hours since the start of deployment in January 2013.

To date, Airbus Helicopters has delivered more than 120 Tiger helicopters to France, Germany, Spain and Australia and the type has accumulated more than 68,000 flying hours.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A French Tiger attack helo. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Tigers are go!

The Tigers are go again! For the next two weeks, Konya airbase in Turkey is home to NATO’s Tiger Meet. However, this year’s gathering of tigers is noticably smaller than previous gatherings, with real-world events and other exercises taking their toll on the exercise.

Hosting the Tiger Meet is the Turkish Air Force’s 192 Filo, which nicely painted up at least two of their F-16s in tiger colours. Also taking part are F-16s from Poland, F/A-18 Hornets from Switzerland, Dassault Rafales from France, plus AB-212 choppers from Italy.

NTM 2015’te bizi temsil edecek yakışıklı 🙂 #192filo #192sq #tiger #nato #tigermeet #NTM

Een foto die is geplaatst door Alperen Taşkın (@bitingwolf141) op

Cancellations Many NATO tiger units had to cancel their participation over deployments elsewhere. Dutch and Belgian F-16s currently see use in anger over Iraq, while Norwegian F-16s have just started Quick Reaction Alert duties over the Baltic states. Furthermore, Norway is busy preparing for large scale exercise Arctic Challenge, a joint Scandinavian training exercise starting 25 May. Also absent in Konya are Saab Gripens operated by the Czech Republic and Hungary. They prefer next week’s Lion Effort 2015 exercise at Čáslav in the Czech Republic over the Tiger Meet. Nevertheless, the Tigers will roar over Turkey for the next two weeks. The Tiger Meet is scheduled to end on 15 May. Click here for an impression of last year’s Tiger Meet. See more Tiger stuff here.

Tiger tiger tiger 🙂 #konya #tigermeet #nato #192squad #kaplanfilo

Een foto die is geplaatst door Yiğit Çiçekci (@ltanspotter) op

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A French Rafale in special Tiger Meet colours is seen here leaving for Turkey. (Image © C. de Flesselles / Armée de l’air)

Cracks: Swiss retire ten Tigers

The Swiss Air Force is retiring ten out of 36 operational F-5 Tigers due to structural cracks found in the aicraft. As reported earlier here on Airheadsfly.com, cracks where found last year in some Tigers. Inspections on all aircraft have now finished and problems were found on 16 in total. Six will be repaired, ten will be disposed of.

Repair costs for the six savable aircraft are estimated at 1 million Swiss francs, which roughly equals 1 million euro. Among these six are five aircraft used by aerial demonstration team Patrouille Suisse.

The Swiss will see their active F-5 Tiger fleet reduced from 36 to 26 by this decision, made possible by fleet optimization and leading to cost savings. Between 1978 and 1984, the Swiss Air Force ordered a total of 98 single-seat F-5E and 12 two-seat F-5F aircraft. A significant number was since sold the US Navy, which has been using the Tigers as aggressor aircraft. A total of 54 F-5 is still being kept in Switzerland, with some being stored.

Assessment of the Swiss fleet carried out together with RUAG and Armasuisse. Repairs are expected to last until the end of the first quarter of 2016. Patrouille Suisse will partly use regular F-5s until all of their red and white aircraft are repaired.

The decision confirms that the Swiss will use their F-5s also from 2016 on. Earlier reports indicated that all Tigers would be retired in that year, but parliament in Bern decided otherwise.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: No more happy landings for ten Swiss Tiger. (Image © Elmer van Hest)