Airbus Helicopters’ high-profile presence at MSPO Expo this week is focused on demonstrating the capabilities of the company’s Tiger HAD attack helicopter and multi-mission EC725 Caracal that perfectly respond to the Polish military’s operational requirements.
“The EC725 and Tiger HAD are modern, and battle-proven, having shown their full capabilities in real combat situations,” said Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury during a press briefing at MSPO Expo. “In addition to offering these high-performance rotorcraft to Poland, Airbus Helicopters stands alone in proposing a comprehensive and integrated solution for the country’s needs from a single aircraft manufacturer, thereby providing a unique logistics system, and an unequaled industrial arrangement with Poland’s aviation sector.”
At the MSPO Expo in Kielce, the French Army Aviation provided its feedback from operations with Tiger HAD and EC725 Caracal in tandem, emphasizing their interoperability. “The two aircraft were efficient and complementary in Afghanistan and Mali. They are perfectly adapted to the modern and asymmetric wars we face today,” explained General Olivier de la Motte, Head of French Army Aviation.
For Poland’s procurement of new multi-role helicopters, Airbus Helicopters’ EC725 Caracal performs the widest range of missions – from special operations to combat search and rescue, tactical transport and medical evacuation.
The Tiger HAD meets Poland’s mission requirements for its acquisition of attack helicopters, with Airbus Helicopters’ family of twin-engine Tiger rotorcraft already in the military inventories of such NATO countries as France, Germany and Spain, along with Australia. In addition to operations in Afghanistan the attack helicopter has seen service in Libya and Mali operations.
Airbus Helicopters’ presence at MSPO Expo this week also underscores the company’s proven strategy of supporting its helicopters and working with local industry in customer countries, which includes creating full assembly lines, establishing service centers, contracting the manufacture of aviation parts, and collaborating on comprehensive research and development programs.
As part of Airbus Helicopters cooperation strategy in Poland, the company signed a cooperation accord at MSPO Expo with the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone in Gdańsk, broadening the scope of collaboration with the Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT). This latest step to enhance collaborative research activities with the university will facilitate the industrialization of theoretical studies performed by Airbus Helicopters and GUT, which primarily deal with diagnostic activities in the sector of Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) for helicopters. With this collaboration, Airbus Helicopters is looking for breakthrough technologies that can be quickly developed and industrialized to supply extra value to customers.
Poland is a key strategic market for Airbus Helicopters. The company has been present in the country for 10 years through Heli Invest, its local distributor and partner. 54 Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft are currently operating in Poland. This includes a large fleet of EC135s for Poland’s LPR (Lotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe), acquired in a modernization of the nationwide emergency medical services network – making it one of the most modern in Europe. LPR’s EC135s have provided exemplary service in lifesaving missions, setting the standard for a governmental operator transitioning from a Soviet-era rotorcraft type to a modern Western rotorcraft.