The Andalusian aerospace sector, and several companies of our Association, participate in some of the aeronautical programs of Airbus Helicopters, the subsidiary of the European group Airbus dedicated to the development and manufacture of civil and military helicopters, such as the Tiger and the NH90.
The Tiger (formerly Eurocopter EC665) is Airbus’ multi-role attack helicopter, designed to perform armed reconnaissance, air or ground escort, air-to-air combat, ground fire support, destruction and anti-tank warfare, day or night and in adverse conditions. It has different versions such as Tiger HAD, helicopter that has been chosen to equip the Spanish Army, and among its users include the Armed Forces of Germany, France and Australia.
Its dimensions are 15.8 meters in length and 6,600 kg in weight and can accommodate two people (pilot and co-pilot). It has a maximum range of 610 nautical miles, when it is not armed, and 400 nautical miles when it is armed.
The Tiger’s serial production began in 2002 and the first flight of the first Tiger HAP production for the French Army took place in 2003. Currently it has 135 deliveries and more than 80,000 flight hours, having demonstrated its capacity during operational deployments in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Libya and Mali.
On the other hand, the NH90 is a modern, multi-role aircraft designed to meet the most stringent NATO standards. It is built by the company NH Industries, a consortium created by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly Agusta Westland) and Fokker Aeroestructures and has two different versions: tactical troop transport (TTH) and NATO frigate helicopter (NFH).
The NH90 is a twin-engine aircraft incorporating innovative features such as an advanced mission flight aid and fly-by-wire control system with 4-axis autopilot, along with on-board monitoring and diagnostics systems.
Benefitting from a modern approach to materials, the NH90’s composite fuselage has fewer parts and a lower structural weight, resulting in 30% more endurance compared to a metallic fuselage, plus increased resistance to battle damage, among other benefits. The composite rotor blades have greater fatigue strength, damage tolerance and component lifetimes, as well as improved aerodynamic performance. It has a máximum take-off weight of 11,000 kg. and a range of between 450 and 490 nautical miles.
Around 345 NH90s have been delivered to date to 18 customers in 13 countries, and have accumulated more than 150,000 flight hours.