Eurocopter EC-665 Tigre HAD

Eurocopter EC-665 Tigre HAD (c/n 2037 ´BIE´ + c/n 6009 ´BJI´ of Aviation légère de l’Armée de terre – ALAT / the French Army Light Aviation), flying display at NATO Tiger Meet 2024, Jagel, June 2024.

This year´s edition of the NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) live-fly international exercise was held between 3rd and 13th June 2024 at Schleswig air base in Germany. The traditional meeting of ´tiger squadrons´ was hosted by Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 51 ´Immelmann´ (Tactical Air Force Wing 51 ´Immelmann´) and returned to Fliegerhorst Schleswig-Jagel after a decade.

As usual, the event attracted interest of hundreds of aviation enthusiasts who followed the take-off and landing operations off the fence. In addition, there was also the opportunity to enter the base during two spotter days organized on 7th and 10th July.

The aviation fans gathered at the airfield during the spotter day not only had the chance to follow participating aircraft during departures and arrival for COMAO operations, as well as some close-up taxiing, but also a pleasure to observe a few additional demonstration flights performed by helicopter crews.

The display flown by two Eurocopter EC-665 Tigre (Tiger) rotorcraft of the French Army Light Aviation was one of such performances and, without any doubts, became one of the highlights of the spotter day on 10th July.

A pair of helicopters from 1er régiment d’hélicoptères de combat (1st Combat Helicopter Regiment) showcased capabilities of the EC-665 in a spectacular display flown in front of the spotter area. It included a formation flight and low-altitude manoeuvres, as well as a few minutes of hovering that allowed the spotters to take plenty of pictures and video materials.

Although both rotorcraft had the standard ALAT camouflage pattern, the leading EC-665 carried an additional ´Tiger Fury´ livery, featuring irregular orange and black scrapes and the tiger head.

The first Eurocopter Tiger helicopters entered their operational service with ALAT in 2005. Initially, the French Army received the HAP variant (Hélicoptère d’Appui Protection – support and escort helicopter), later followed by Tiger HAD (Hélicoptère d’Appui Destruction – support and destruction helicopter) version.

In 2015, the Army authorities decided about upgrading all Tiger HAP rotorcraft in French service to the HAD standard. The process is expected to be finalized in 2025.

The pictured EC-665 BIE is the example of the aforementioned upgrade. The rotorcraft was delivered to ALAT in HAP version and then modernized into the HAD variant. The second helicopter in the background, BJI, was originally built as the Tiger HAD.

More information about the EC-665 Tiger / Tigre, can be found in one of our previous articles:

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