roll-out for Europe's Tiger
By Craig Hoyle
Franco-German Eurocopter consortium rolled out the first production example of
the Tiger attack helicopter on 22 March. Unveiled at Eurocopter's Donauwörth
facility near Munich, the aircraft is the first of 80 UHT (Unterstützungshubschrauber
Tiger) multi-role platforms on order for the German Army.
Germany will receive its first production aircraft in December 2002, while the
French Army will receive its first of 80 aircraft in June 2003.
The initial production example of the Tiger for the French Army will be an HAP (Hélicoptère
d'Appui et de Protection) escort and fire-support variant; the French order will
comprise 10 helicopters in this configuration and a further 70 HAC (Hélicoptère
Anti-Char) anti-tank platforms. The partners have a combined requirement for up
to 427 of the aircraft.
The Australian Army also late last year signed an A$1.3 billion (US$682 million)
production contract for 22 Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters and deliveries
of these will begin in December 2004.
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