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Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665)

France (2003)
Picture of Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665) Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter
Picture of Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665) Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter Picture of Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665) Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter
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Unlike other attack helicopters in its class, the Eurocopter Tiger sits the pilot in the front cockpit and the weapons officer in the rear.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665) Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 6/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Eurocopter Tiger (EC 665) is a relatively new attack helicopter initially designed and developed through a joint venture between the governments of France and Germany. Comparatively, the Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopter can be thought of as in the same class as the American Hughes AH-64 Apache, Russian Ka-50 "Black Shark", the Italian Agusta A129 Mangusta and the South African Denel AH-2 Rooivalk. The Tiger remains in limited production as of this writing, though the initial orders have been relatively impressive considering the current financial climate over the globe.

The idea of a joint venture design between France and Germany for a capable attack helicopter was on the table since the mid-1980's. At the time, the French aviation firm of Aerospatiale and the German bureau of MBB (Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm) were tabbed for the job. Despite financial setbacks in the program and its inevitable collapse in just two short years, the project was resurrected once more in 1987. Five prototypes were contracted in late 1989 and the first Tiger took to the skies in April of 1991. By 1992, the joint venture between Aerospatiale and MBB expanded becoming the newly-formed "Eurocopter Group". Production of the Eurocopter Tiger began in 2002 with deliveries beginning the following year.

In the role of attack helicopter, the Tiger can be expected to maintain low-levels of flight, making this complex machine highly susceptible to ground-based enemy fire or natural impediments. As such, survivability of both man and machine is spared at no expense when it comes to this aircraft. The fuselage is armored as such that it can reportedly withstand a direct hit from 23mm projectiles. This is possible by the carbon fiber reinforced polymer with Kevlar, titanium and aluminum construction. Carbon fiber represents at least to 80% of its make up while titanium is used in 6% of the machine while aluminum makes up 11%. Within this highly effective skin are anti-lightning protection, state-of-the-art systems (including GPS, early warning radars and data computers) and an integrated helmet-mounted sight display system (these vary by operator).

Externally, the Eurocopter Tiger falls in line with the design philosophy of current generation attack helicopters. The crew of two are seated in tandem in a stepped cockpit arrangement with forward, above and side visibility. Contrary to other attack helicopter designs, the pilot is seated in the forward cockpit position. Entry for the pilot in the is from the port side of the aircraft while the gunner in the rear cockpit position enters in on the starboard side. Both cockpit positions are offset slightly from one another in an effort to improve each position's vision. The nose features a noticeable slope while the entire slim fuselage takes advantage of flat sides with rounded edges. The undercarriage is fixed and consists of two forward main gears and a tail wheel at rear. The empennage features a main vertical tail fin with two additional vertical fins extending out from the main fin's base. The engines are kept near the aircraft's center of gravity, one engine to a fuselage side.

Armament for the Tiger series is contained on external wing stubs capable of mounting conventional attack helicopter weaponry including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface anti-tank missiles and air-to-surface rockets. The wingstubs extend outwards from the fuselage sides directly behind and below the pilot's cockpit position and feature a distinct polyhedral bend. Standard chin-mounted weapon systems are based on the operator's choice and, as of this writing, can be of the French GIAT 30 series 30mm cannon or the German Rheinmetall 30mm cannon.


Picture of the Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665) Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter
Picture of the Airbus Helicopters Tiger (EC665) Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter


Performance specifications are impressive and include a top speed of 315 kilometers per hour along with a range of 800 kilometers (improved to 1,300 kilometers through the use of external fuel tanks). Power is derived from twin Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca/MTU MTR390 series turboshafts powering a fiber-plastic four-blade main rotor and a three-blade tail rotor. A mast-mounted sight can be affixed to the top of the main rotor at the expense of maximum speed (drops to about 290km/h). The tail rotor sits along the starboard side of the tailfin. The Eurocopter is fully-capable of performing loops, a popular air show "test" of a current generation helicopter's ability.

To date, the Tiger has appeared in four major versions coinciding in use to their host countries. The Tiger HAP is a French close-support attack version capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground engagements through use of a 30mm chin turret, missiles and rocket pods. The UH Tiger represents a multi-role derivative for use by German forces. Anti-tank missiles and rocket pods are the order of the day for this model as is a German-produced 30mm autocannon in a chin turret mounting. The Tiger ARH is an armed reconnaissance model for use by Australian Army forces to replace their UH-1 "Hueys" and OH-58 Kiowa systems. These Tigers will be fitted with improved MTR390 series engines and feature 70mm rocket pods and capability with the Hellfire II anti-tank missile system. The Tiger HAD is the Tiger of choice for the Spanish Army and French forces, utilizing anti-tank missiles and improved MTR390 series engines of 1,464shp.

The Eurocopter Tiger was introduced at an operational level in 2003. The only active and future users of the helicopter system as of this writing are Spain, France, Germany, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Australian Tigers are assembled in Australia (Eurocopter maintains a presence in the country) while the Saudis inked a 2006 deal for up to 142 Tigers in multiple versions. In all, it is expected that the Eurocopter Tiger will maintain a healthy and long shelf-life throughout Europe and beyond.

August 2016 - Availability of German-operated Tiger helicopters is increased for service over Mali in the UN-backed initiative. The force has been on stand-by since July 1st, 2016.

August 2017 - A July-2017 crash of a Tiger helicopter in Mali has led to some forces suspending operations with the attack platform until the results of the incident can be had. Two crew were lost when the main rotor blades broke off after entering a steep dive.

May 2018 - The governments of France and Germany have approved the Tiger Mk.III mid-life upgrade in an effort to keep their respective Tiger fleets viable into 2040.




General Assessment (BETA)
Firepower  
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Performance  
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Survivability  
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Versatility  
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Impact  
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Rating: 88 (of 100)
The rating is an internal assessment derived from forty factors pertaining to this entry.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (196mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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LON
 
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  MOS
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  TOK
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  SYD
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Eurocopter Tiger (EC665)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
348
348


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: France
Year: 2003
Type: Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Dedicated Attack Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) - France
Production: 348
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
Australia; France; Germany; Spain; Saudi Arabia
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Eurocopter Tiger (EC665) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
46.19 ft


Meters
14.08 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
42.65 ft


Meters
13 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
12.57 ft


Meters
3.83 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
6,746 lb


Kilograms
3,060 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
13,228 lb


Kilograms
6,000 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca/MTU MTR390 turboshaft engines delivering 1,170shp each while driving a four-blade main rotor and three-blade tail rotor.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
196 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
315 kph


Knots
170 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
497 mi


Kilometers
800 km


Nautical Miles
432 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
42,651 ft


Meters
13,000 m


Miles
8.08 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,105 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
642 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-tank guided missile
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Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
1 x 30mm GIAT 30 cannon OR 1 x 30mm Rheinmetall RMK30 cannon in chin turret.

OPTIONAL:
May include a combination of the following:

7 x 70mm SNEB rockets (7-shot pod)
19 x 70mm SNEB rockets (19-shot pod)
19 x 70mm Hydra rockets (19-shot pod)
22 x 68mm SNEB rockets (22-shot pod)
4 x AIM-92 Stinger short-range air-to-air missiles
4 x Mistral short-range air-to-air missiles
8 x AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles
8 x PARS 3 LR anti-tank missiles
8 x HOT3 anti-tank missiles
8 x Rafael Spike-ER anti-tank missiles
2 x External Fuel Tanks
Variants: Series Model Variants
• EC665 - Eurocopter Company Designation
• Tiger HAP - Close Protection Helicopter; fire support and air-to-air capability; 30mm chin-mounted cannon system; French use.
• UH Tiger - Multi-Role Fire Support Variant; mast-mounted sight; possible Rheinmetall RMK30 30mm autocannon as standard armament; German use.
• Tiger ARH - Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter; Australian use.
• Tiger HAD - Support Destruction Helicopter; support and fire suppression specialty; Spain use.
• Tiger HAC - Proposed anti-tank platform for French use; abandoned in favor of HAD variant.
• Tiger Mk II - Upgrade; to include improved communications suite, support for laser-guided rockets, and introduce a common Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM).
• Tiger Mk III - Proposed mid-life upgrade