Eurocopter Airbus EC-665 Tiger Review, Top Speed, Unit Cost, Manufacturer – The Eurocopter Tiger is an attack helicopter with a length of 14 meters and a height of 3.8 meters
Eurocopter Airbus EC-665 Tiger Review, Top Speed, Unit Cost, Manufacturer
|Type||Eurocopter Tiger (EC 665)|
|Unit Cost||$ 44 to 48 million|
|Year of development||2003|
|Engine||Two Rolls-Royce/MTU MTR390 turboshaft engines, each producing 1170 horsepower, are driven by a four-bladed main rotor and a three-bladed tail rotor|
|Top Speed||167 mph (269 km/h)|
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – Unlike other combat helicopters in its class, the Eurocopter Tiger has the pilot at the front of the cockpit and the weapons officer at the rear. The Eurocopter Airbus EC-665 Tiger is a relatively new combat helicopter, designed and developed jointly by the French and German governments.
An Impressive Attack Helicopter
Eurocopter’s Tiger attack helicopter is in the same category as the American Hughes AH-64 Apache, the Russian Black Shark Ka-50, Italy’s Agusta A129 Mangusta, and South Africa’s Denel AH-2 Lubbock.
At the time of this writing, the Tiger is still in limited production, but in the current global financial climate, initial orders are already relatively high.
The idea of a joint German-French effort to develop a high-performance attack helicopter has been under consideration since the mid-1980s. At that time, the French company Aerospatiale and the German company MBB (Messerschmitt-Borkow-Blohm) were among the candidates.
After only two years, the financial recession almost brought the project to a halt, but it was restarted in 1987.
In 1992, a joint venture between Aerospatiale and MBB became the new Eurocopter Group.
During the production of this helicopter
Eurocopter’s Tiger helicopter went into production in 2002 and was delivered the following year.
As a combat helicopter, the Tiger is a complex aircraft that requires low altitude flight, making it particularly vulnerable to enemy ground attacks and natural obstacles.
Therefore, the survival of man and machine is of no value in this aircraft. The armor of the fuselage is said to be able to withstand a direct hit from a 23mm artillery shell.
To achieve this, carbon fiber reinforced polymer, Kevlar, titanium, and aluminum are used. Over 80% of the production is carbon fiber, 6% is titanium, and 11% is aluminum.
Inside this high-performance skin are lightning protection, advanced systems (GPS, early warning radar, data computer, etc.), and display systems on the helmet (depending on the operator).
Helicopter and cockpit design
The exterior of the Eurocopter Tiger follows the design concept of the current generation of combat helicopters. The two crew members sit together on the cockpit steps with forwarding, upward and side views.
Unlike other combat helicopter designs, the pilot sits at the front of the cockpit. The pilot enters from the left side of the aircraft, while the gunner, at the rear of the cockpit, enters from the starboard side.
The two cockpits are slightly offset from each other to increase the visibility of their respective positions. The nose section is impressively sloped, with flat sides and rounded edges extending across the fuselage.
The undercarriage consists of two main gears in the front and one rear wheel in the back. The exhaust has a vertical swallow and two more vertical swallows protrude below it. The engines are located near the center of gravity of the aircraft, one on each side of the fuselage.
Equipment of the EC-665 Tiger Helicopter
The armament of the Tiger series consists of outer wing components that can carry the usual attack helicopter armament such as air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface anti-tank missiles, and air-to-surface missiles.
The wings are detailed with distinctive polyhedral curves extending from the sides of the fuselage to behind and below the cockpit.
The standard weapon system mounted on the Joe is the operator’s choice of either the French GIAT series 30mm cannon or the German Rheinmetall 30mm cannon (at the time of writing).
Maximum speed and engine specifications
With a top speed of 315km/h and a range of 800km (extendable to 1300km with an external fuel tank), the specifications are impressive.
It is powered by two Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca/MTU MTR390 series turboshafts driving a four-blade main rotor and a three-blade tail rotor made of plastic fiber. The mast arm can be attached to the main rotor, but at the expense of maximum speed (up to about 290 km/h).
The tail rotor is located on the right side of the tailplane. The Eurocopter is fully capable of loop flight, a popular “test” of the capabilities of the current generation of helicopters.
Tiger version of the Airbus EC-665
So far, four versions of the Tiger have been introduced, mainly for use in the host country. The Tiger HAP is the French version for close-in attack and can be equipped with 30mm chin turrets, missiles, and rocket pods for air-to-ground combat.
The UH Tiger is a multi-purpose derivative used by the Germans. In this model, anti-tank missiles and rocket pods are the norms, with a German 30mm autocannon mounted on a chin turret.
The Tiger ARH is an armed reconnaissance model used by the Australian Army as a replacement for the UH-1 Huey and OH-58 Kaiowa.
The Tiger is powered by an upgraded version of the MTR390 series engine and a 70mm rocket pod and can be equipped with the Hellfire II anti-tank missile system.
The Tiger HAD is powered by the MTR390 series engine, which has been increased to 1464 horsepower and is ideal for Spanish and French forces using anti-tank missiles.
Tiger EC-665 Conclusion
The Eurocopter Tiger was introduced at the operational level in 2003. To date, the only countries actively using the helicopter system are Spain, France, Germany, Australia, and Saudi Arabia.
Australian Tigers are mainly concentrated in Australia (where Eurocopter maintains a presence), while Saudi Arabia contracted 142 Tigers of various types in 2006.
Overall, Eurocopter’s Tigers are expected to remain in good health and have a long service life in Europe and elsewhere.