First Tiger HAD/E assembled in Spain flies
Eurocopter’s Tiger combat helicopter program has reached a new milestone with the maiden flight yesterday of the initial Tiger HAD/E variant assembled at Eurocopter's Spanish facilities in Albacete, Spain.
The milestone helicopter assembled in Albacete – designated HAD/E-5002 – will be the first unit to enter service with the Fuerzas Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra (FAMET) Spanish Army helicopter unit, with delivery planned by the end of 2013. It follows the first prototype (HAD/E-5001) – assembled at Eurocopter’s Marignane, France facilities – which has been performing the certification and qualification flight campaign in Spain since 2010.
The helicopter will reinforce the six French-assembled Tiger HAP/E variants currently operated by the Spanish Army – including missions in Afghanistan with these rotorcraft.
The Eurocopter Spain factory in Albacete is the only manufacturing plant for the Tiger helicopter’s rear fuselage section. Other Spanish organizations involved in the program included ITP – part of the MTRI consortium – which is participating in the design and production of the upgraded engines for the Spanish Tiger HAD/E version. In addition, companies such as Indra, Amper, ELIMCO, Aernnova, TECHNOBIT, Desarrollos Mecánicos de Precisión (DMP), Sacesa, and Celéstica, were involved primarily on component, systems and equipment manufacturing.
To date, the Tiger program has 206 combined orders from Germany (80 UHT), France (40 HAP/F and 40 HAD/F), Australia (22 ARH) and Spain (24 HAD/E). Through May 2013, there were 93 Tiger helicopters in service, with some 44,430 total flight hours.