Cheetah leaps forward
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