Interim Solution Prior to GUÉPARD Service Entry
In a contract led by the French defence procurement authority, the DGA, for the French Navy, Babcock will work in partnership with Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines to provide four H160 helicopters, helicopter modifications and through-life support.
The H160 is a part of the interim fleet which will replace the ALOUETTE III before the anticipated service entry of the GUÉPARD. The aircraft will be used in demanding search and rescue (SAR) missions, based at two locations in north and west France. Babcock is the global launch customer for the H160 helicopter.
This 10-year contact runs from 2022 and represents a milestone in the French MoD procurement process, as it is the first time a contract includes both hire and purchase of a brand-new aircraft and its global support. It also marks a significant step in Babcock France’s deepening collaboration with the French military, following the Jet Fighters Modernised Training Programme (FOMEDEC) signed in 2016 for the Air Force. It confirms Babcock’s military air expertise and commitment to supporting the French armed forces.
“All together, we will provide both the H160 to the French Navy with a high level of availability and allow the DGA to prepare for the entry into service of the GUÉPARD,” commented Pierre Basquin, Military Aviation Director for Babcock France.