Chee­tah leaps for­ward

Pilot - - ROTORHEADS -

France’s Joint Light He­li­copter (Héli­cop­tère In­ter­ar­mées Léger, HIL) de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme, for which Air­bus He­li­copters’ H160 was se­lected in 2017, has been brought for­ward a year, en­abling first de­liv­er­ies to be made in 2026. A full-scale mock-up of the H160M Gué­pard was dis­played on the Min­istry of Armed Forces stand at last month’s Paris Air Show.

‘The H160 was de­signed to be a mo­du­lar he­li­copter, en­abling its mil­i­tary ver­sion, with a sin­gle plat­form, to per­form mis­sions rang­ing from com­mando in­fil­tra­tion to air in­ter­cept, fire sup­port and anti-ship war­fare in or­der to meet the needs of the army, navy and air force through the HIL pro­gramme,’ says Air­bus.

A to­tal of 169 Gué­pards will re­place five ‘legacy’ he­li­copter types in the French armed ser­vices: eighty for the Army, 49 for the Navy, and forty for the Air Force.

H160M Gué­pard (Chee­tah) mockup at the Paris Air Show

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