Air­bus He­li­copters AS565 MBe Pan­ther

vis­its Air­bus He­li­copters at Marig­nane, France

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Contents -

Vayu vis­ited Air­bus He­li­copters at Marig­nane, France in early De­cem­ber 2017 for a de­tailed tour of Air­bus He­li­copters fa­cil­i­ties and had in­ten­sive in­ter­ac­tive ses­sions with se­nior com­pany ex­ec­u­tives. Fo­cus was on the AS565 MBe Pan­ther mul­ti­role he­li­copter which is be­ing pre­sented as “the per­fect can­di­date for the In­dian Navy’s NUH pro­gramme” !

In early De­cem­ber 2017, se­lect In­dian me­dia were in­vited to Air­bus He­li­copter’ fa­cil­i­ties in Marig­nane, France for a two-day in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion with se­nior com­pany ex­ec­u­tives on the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in their com­pany as well as a sta­tus up­date of their plans for In­dia’s he­li­copter re­quire­ments. As a bonus, they in­ter­acted with Mex­i­can Navy’s Ad­mi­ral Jose Maria Gar­cia Macedo and team who were be­ing handed, in per­son, keys to their 10th and fi­nal AS565 MBe he­li­copter (see lead im­age).

The theme of the tour can be sum­marised as be­ing on the AS565 MBe he­li­copter and its at­tributes.

The AS565 MBe, also known as the Pan­ther, is the state-of-the-art multi-role he­li­copter that was de­signed for a mul­ti­tude of naval and coast guard mis­sions such as mar­itime sur­veil­lance, search and res­cue, ca­su­alty evac­u­a­tion, off­shore pa­trolling and counter-ter­ror­ism. It ex­udes a sleek ap­pear­ance from nose to tail and the cock­pit al­lows for ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity through the glazed for­ward fuse­lage and the mod­ern avion­ics in­clude an au­to­matic flight con­trol and flight man­age­ment sys­tem. The AS565 MBe com­bines new and proven tech­nolo­gies to of­fer “more value to op­er­a­tors,” and is equipped with two Safran Ar­riel 2N en­gines, which en­hance its per­for­mance in hot & high con­di­tions. It also boasts a new main gear­box, a lat­est­gen­er­a­tion tail ro­tor and a 4-axis au­topi­lot that re­duces crew work­load and makes the most de­mand­ing mis­sions eas­ier to per­form. The main cabin can be rapidly re­con­fig­ured to con­duct var­i­ous roles and the Pan­ther can be armed with sev­eral dif­fer­ent kind of mu­ni­tions and ar­ma­ments, de­pend­ing on the mis­sion.

The he­li­copter per­forms a wide va­ri­ety of roles. In its anti-sur­face unit war­fare role, the AS565 MBe is highly ef­fec­tive in war­fare mis­sions, in­clud­ing over-the-hori­zon tar­get­ing for ships with long-range anti-ship mis­siles. By act­ing as the ship’s prin­ci­pal weapon sys­tem it can search, clas­sify, shadow and strike with pre­ci­sion with sta­ble hov­er­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In its anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare avatar, with an en­durance of four hours and its ca­pa­bil­ity to carry up to two tor­pe­does / Depth Charges, the AS565 MBe sig­nif­i­cantly mul­ti­ples a sur­face ship’s abil­ity to con­duct Anti-Sub­ma­rine War­fare (ASW) mis­sions. It has a ra­dius of ac­tion of up to 130 nm with one tor­pedo and up to a 110 nm with two tor­pe­does. For search and res­cue (SAR) it has a ra­dius of ac­tion of 110 nm, in­clud­ing

30 min­utes on sta­tion, car­ries 2 pi­lots and 2 air­crew and can hoist 2 ca­su­al­ties. It is well suited for law en­force­ment/anti-piracy tasks as well. Be­ing fast and quiet, the AS565 MBe is a highly cost-ef­fec­tive as­set for all polic­ing roles in ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zones or ar­eas of na­tional in­ter­est. The he­li­copter has a mul­ti­hour en­durance at high speeds, and can be con­fig­ured for snipers and rapid board­ing par­ties with weapons such as cabin-mounted ma­chine guns.

Some 250 Pan­thers are op­er­ated in more than 20 coun­tries by mil­i­tary cus­tomers, in­clud­ing 100 in ser­vice with the US Coast Guard. Re­cently the Pan­ther has gained more con­tracts in In­done­sia and Mex­ico. There was a lot of dis­cus­sion on the Air­bus/ Mahin­dra tie- up as well as the In­dian Navy’s (as well as other branches of the In­dian Armed Forces) util­ity he­li­copter re­quire­ments. “Air­bus He­li­copters awarded a con­tract to Mahin­dra Aerostruc­tures to make air­frame parts for the AS565 MBe Pan­ther he­li­copter and these parts will be pro­duced at the Mahin­dra fa­cil­ity in Ben­galuru. They will be shipped di­rectly to the Air­bus He­li­copter pro­duc­tion line in Marig­nane, France where they will be in­te­grated with the rest of the air­frame assem­bly and will form a crit­i­cal part of Pan­thers sold world­wide. This con­tract po­si­tions Mahin­dra Aerostruc­tures as the first In­dian com­pany to re­ceive a di­rect man­u­fac­tur­ing con­tract from Air­bus He­li­copters as a Tier 1 sup­plier. “We are play­ing an ac­tive role in the de­vel­op­ment of a he­li­copter-fo­cused In­dian in­dus­trial ecosys­tem, and are em­bed­ding In­dian sup­pli­ers into our global sup­ply chain,” stated Fabrice Cag­nat, Di­rec­tor, Make-in-In­dia, Air­bus He­li­copters. “The con­tract will al­low us to qual­ify Mahin­dra Aerostruc­tures as a Tier 1 sup­plier, es­tab­lish a man­u­fac­tur­ing re­la­tion­ship with them on the Pan­ther, and also lay the ground work for rapid ac­cel­er­a­tion in terms of in­dus­tri­al­is­ing pro­duc­tion in In­dia, in case we are se­lected for the Naval Util­ity He­li­copter pro­gramme,” he added.

Air­bus He­li­copters and Mahin­dra De­fence are in the process of form­ing a joint ven­ture to com­pete in In­dia’s mil­i­tary he­li­copter pro­grammes such as the Naval Util­ity He­li­copter, the Naval Multi-Role He­li­copter and the Re­con­nais­sance and Sur­veil­lance He­li­copter. The AS565 MBe Pan­ther is com­pet­ing in the Naval Util­ity He­li­copter pro­gramme, the In­dian Navy’s RFP call­ing for some 111 NUHs with upto 15% of the con­tract for NUHs be­ing in fly away con­di­tion or some 16 he­li­copters.

“In case the In­dian Gov­ern­ment se­lects the Pan­ther, Air­bus He­li­copters will es­tab­lish In­dia as a global hub for Pan­ther pro­duc­tion in part­ner­ship with Mahin­dra De­fence and would firmly em­bed Mahin­dra Group in the Air­bus He­li­copters’ global sup­ply chain and bind the two com­pa­nies in a longterm ‘Make-in-In­dia’ part­ner­ship. Trans­fer of Tech­nol­ogy is a key as­pect of the project/ pro­posal and Air­bus He­li­copters is in a very good po­si­tion to ful­fil it. We want In­dia to be the ‘ Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence for the Pan­ther’. We have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence do­ing what we plan to do in In­dia: Heli­bras of Brazil is a su­per ex­am­ple of this model and a good par­al­lel”, em­pha­sised Fabrice Cag­nat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.