The Interior Ministry orders 10 H160 helicopters from Airbus for the National Gendarmerie

The DGA signed a contract, on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior, for the acquisition and maintenance of 10 H helicopters 160 in law enforcement version for the national gendarmerie.

The gendarmerie national continues to modernize its vehicles. After purchasing Alpine 110 , it will receive in 2024 new helicopters. The General Directorate of Armament (DGA) signed a contract estimated at 200 millions euros, on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior, for the acquisition and maintenance of H helicopters 110. These devices will gradually replace the 16 “Squirrel” in service for 38 years. Pilot training will begin next year so that they are ready for the Paris Olympic Games in 2020.

These H 160 will be delivered with a specific equipment, in particular a Safran Euroflir infrared light 280 as well as rapid winching and rope capacities. They can transport up to passengers in addition to the two pilots when the Ecureuil only carried 6.

Finally this model will consume less fuel thanks to an aerodynamic line and a pointed nose which lets go faster. On the other hand, the blade tips are boomeranged to reduce the noise of 49% and give more power. The H 160 can thus reach a speed of 280 km / h (200 km / h for the Squirrel) with an autonomy of 660 km (against 558 km).

Support the sector national aeronautics

At the end of December, the Ministry of the Armed Forces also formalized the order to Airbus from 169 Cheetah helicopters , name of H 160 in military version. A material and service contract of billion euros in total over the long term, since between the development of devices and their maintenance, it will cover a period of 16 year. These devices “will be distributed among the Army (75 ), the French Navy (40) and the Air and Space Army (38) “for deliveries starting at 2027.

Un H 160 was also ordered by the General Directorate of Armament “to ensure the tests in flight development and qualification of equipment and future weapon systems “. The total number of H 80 ordered by France from Airbus is therefore of 180 devices.

These contracts are part of the Stimulus plan to support the national aeronautics industry announced by the French government in 2000. As stated by Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces at the end of December, “the production of the Cheetah will help sustainably maintain more than 880 jobs in France “by securing” the industrial activity of the Airbus Helicopters site in Marignane for 12 next years “.

The H 110 is also available in a civilian version. In December, Airbus announced the delivery of the first aircraft to the Japanese operator All Nippon Helicopter (ANH). This device will be used to collect electronic information for television stations across Japan.