HomeNewsAviationThe French Navy's interim fleet's final H160 helicopter delivered

The French Navy’s interim fleet’s final H160 helicopter delivered

The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) delivered on February 12, 2024 the last of the six H160 helicopters ordered in 2020 and 2021 from the companies Airbus Helicopters, Babcock France and Safran Helicopter Engines. The aircraft reached the Lanvéoc-Poulmic naval aeronautical base.

Specially configured for sea rescue, H160 helicopters have been gradually deployed since 2023 from Cherbourg airport and the naval aeronautical bases of Lanvéoc-Poulmic and Hyères.

The H160s notably carry out SECMAR (maritime rescue) alert missions, replacing the Caïman Marine, Dauphin and Panther helicopters. ; the latter can thus be redeployed to fulfill their primary mission of aero-maritime combat aboard ships of the French Navy.

The first feedback on the use of these helicopters after more than 1,500 flight hours and numerous rescue missions is very positive. This feedback also contributes to the development of the military version of the device. : the H160M « Cheetah », subject of the Light Joint Helicopter (HIL) program managed by the DGA.

Manufactured by Airbus Helicopters – with additional mission adaptation carried out by Babcock France – these H160s are notably equipped with a winch, the Euroflir 410 optronic system from Safran Electronics & Defense and modular cabins allowing optimized layout for missions of State action at sea. They are also certified for flight with night vision binoculars, particularly necessary for night missions.

These helicopters are supported by Babcock France as part of a partnership with Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines . This partnership will ensure a high level of aircraft availability, necessary for the permanence of the sea rescue mission on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, as well as in the English Channel.

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