The final qualification of the Tiger combat helicopter in its HAP Standard 1 and UHT Step 2/Step 3 versions paving the way for the aircraftâ€™s future operational use.
OCCAR, the European Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation managing the Tiger combat helicopter program, issued jointly with the DGA (DÃ©lÃ©gation GÃ©nÃ©rale pour lâ€™Armement) and the BWB (Bundesamt fÃ¼r Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung) the final qualification of the HAP (HÃ©licoptÃ¨re dâ€™Appui Protection) and UHT (UnterstÃ¼tzungshubschrauber Tiger) versions for France and Germany respectively. This qualification is the third and final step in the development of these two versions. The initial qualification to the PBL001 standard was issued in 2004, allowing the helicopters to be used for training missions at the Franco-German Tiger Training Academy. The second step was the delivery of the helicopters â€“ qualified to the PBL002 standard â€“ with all of their operational functionalities. The final qualification step fixed the solutions finally adopted for the remaining open points and added extra functionalities, such as a naval capacity and the integration of a data link for the HAP Tiger, as well as the integration of new encrypted radio systems and data links for the UHT version. This final step therefore paves the way for the Tigerâ€™s operational entry into service and its use in external operations.
France has ordered 40 HAP versions of the Tiger. These aircraft have a 30-mm gun turret, 68-mm rockets, a Strix roof-mounted sight, and air-to-air Mistral missiles. Eighteen HAP Tigers have already been delivered, including the three initial Standard 1 aircraft. The UHT version ordered by Germany (80 aircraft in total) has 12.7 mm machine gun pods, 70-mm rockets, Stinger air-to-air missiles, Hot and Trigat anti-tank missiles, and an Osiris mast-mounted sight. Germany has received ten UHT Tigers qualified to the PBL001 and PBL002 standards.
The Tiger is currently the most modern combat helicopter in the world. In total, 206 aircraft have been ordered by France, Germany, Australia and Spain, and 48 Tigers have already been delivered.. These aircraft have recorded more than 13,000 flight hours. Australia ordered 22 ARH (armed reconnaissance helicopter) versions of the Tiger, and 15 of these aircraft are now in service. The ARH version will receive its final qualification in 2009. The HAD (HÃ©licoptÃ¨re Appui Destruction) version for France and Spain performed its maiden flight in December 2007, and the first deliveries are scheduled for 2011. France has ordered 40 HAD Tigers and Spain has ordered 24 of these helicopters, including six retrofitted versions of their HAP aircraft (out of which 5 have been delivered).