The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) is
to supply four H160 helicopters to the French Navy for search and
rescue missions through a partnership between Airbus Helicopters,
Babcock, and Safran Helicopter Engines.
The French Navy will start operating the
helicopters in 2022 for a period of ten years.
This interim fleet of H160s will enable the
French Navy to ensure the continuity of critical missions as
the Alouette III retires from service and the pending Guépard
Airbus Helicopters, and its partners, will also be
responsible for supporting the fleet with a high level of
availability and performance commitments. In addition, French Navy
operational feedback will be monitored to benefit the design of
the military version of the H160 and its support system.
“We are proud that the French Navy will be
operating the H160 for their search and rescue missions. We are
sure that the improved situational awareness, increased pilot
assistance, and visibility that the H160 provides will prove to be
a valuable asset for their critical and demanding missions”, said
Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Our industrial partnership
with Babcock and Safran Helicopter Engines will allow us to ensure
the highest level of availability for the French Navy and we are
honoured to have been entrusted with this mission”.
The medium twin engine
H160, powered by Arrano engines, is scheduled for entry into service
later this year.
First deliveries of the equally modular
military version, the H160M, or Guépard as it known in the French
armed forces are planned in 2026.
A total of 169 H160Ms are foreseen in the
frame of the Joint Light Helicopter programme (Hélicoptère
Interarmées Léger: HIL) to replace five types of helicopters in
service in the French armed forces.