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Tue, 11 January 2022

France Orders 10 Airbus H160 Helicopters in a Law Enforcement Configuration

(11 Jan 2022)  The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) has signed a contract, on behalf of the Ministry of Interior, for the procurement and maintenance of 10 Airbus H160 helicopters in a law enforcement configuration for the Gendarmerie Nationale.

France is the first country to order the H160 for law enforcement missions.

The H160s for the Gendarmerie Nationale will be equipped with a Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system, winching, and fast roping capabilities.

The air force command centre of the Gendarmerie Nationale and Airbus Helicopters are also working closely together to develop a tailored mission management system.

France is the first country to order the H160 for law enforcement missions. Picture: Gendarmerie  SIRPA - F. Garcia -  Light & Shadow. Click to enlarge.
France is the first country to order the H160 for law enforcement missions. Picture: Gendarmerie SIRPA - F. Garcia - Light & Shadow

Linked to the contract for the procurement of 169 H160Ms for the French Ministry of Armed Forces, this latest order is part of the stimulus plan to support the national aeronautical industry announced by the French government in 2020.

The French Ministry of Interior contract is an important milestone for the H160. We now have customers for the offshore transportation, private and business aviation, search and rescue and law enforcement mission segments, showing that the H160 is a truly versatile aircraft, said Bruno Even, CEO Airbus Helicopters. Developing this new configuration for the H160 in cooperation with an experienced customer like the Gendarmerie Nationale is key to the success of the programme.

The French Gendarmerie Nationale already operates an extensive fleet of Airbus helicopters from the H125, H135 and H145 families. On top of its improved performances and advanced mission systems, the H160 will bring a new troop transport capability for the French Ministry of Interiors security forces, mainly tactical units, such as the Gendarmerie Nationales intervention group (GIGN).

The Gendarmeries H160s will benefit from a global support contract to be managed by Airbus Helicopters including technical support, spare parts stocks on four Gendarmerie bases, and connected services.

The first H160s will be delivered before the Olympic Games that will take place in Paris in 2024.

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