Thursday, July 21, 2011

AirForces Monthly 2010-11

EUROCOPTER ANNOUNCED on September 16 that the first HAD support and attack version of the Tiger helicopter for the Fuerzas Aerom�viles del Ej�rcito de Tierra (FAMET - Spanish Army Aviation) has begun flight-testing at the Eurocopter Espana facility in Albacete, Spain. Over the next 15 months, a full programme of tests and development flights will be undertaken to qualify the helicopter to Block 1 standard, which is expected in December 2011. This will include test firing of the Mistral and Spike missiles, which is planned before the end of this year. This will be the first time that Eurocopter Espana has taken on responsibility for testing a helicopter prototype and to date the Tiger HAD flight testing at Albacete has been proceeding well and on schedule. The first production Tiger HADs for the FAMET are due for delivery in early 2012. Spain has ordered 24 Tigers, six of which have already been delivered, although these are in the HAP configuration. They will all later be converted to HAD variants, while the remaining 18 on order will all be built as Tiger HADs. Eurocopter's Albacete facility has been adapting the helicopter's configuration to the HAD version over the last four months. This has included integration of the new MTR390 turboshaft engines that have been specifically designed for this variant, together with installation of new versions of the basic and mission software.