With the Tiger attack helicopter scheduled for a mid-life upgrade, Safran Electronics & Defense has won a contract to supply 85 sights from the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), on behalf of the French and Spanish defense procurement agencies. For this purpose, it will be equipped with the new Euroflir 510 sight from Safran Electronics & Defense. At present, 180 Tiger helicopters are being used by the French, German, Spanish and Australian armies. This success confirms Safran’s position as a European technological leader in the extremely demanding segment of onboard optronics for attack helicopters. Safran Electronics & Defense is developing and manufacturing the EuroflirTM 510 optronics systems in France. Several of its sites will be mobilized for the first deliveries, expected in 2027.
The EuroflirTM 510 optronics system carries 12 sensors in a small volume, including an inertial navigation unit, around a multi-spectral telescope with a very long focal length. It delivers ultra high performance stabilization of the line of sight. The EuroflirTM 510 has several observation channels to cover all the spectral bands (visible, near infra-red, SWIR, thermal MWIR, and LWIR), 4 types of lasers as well as an integrated see spot capacity, and supplies full-resolution digital video streams. The EuroflirTM 510 makes a major contribution to enhancing onboard visualization ergonomics. This reduces the cognitive load for operators during their missions: flying in degraded conditions, remote identification of missile security, gunnery, and guiding of missiles and rockets.
Until now, Tigers were equipped with the gyrostabilized Strix sight developed by Safran, incorporating, in particular, a thermal imager, a daylight camera, and a laser designator. Starting in 2027, these sights will therefore gradually be replaced by the EuroflirTM 510, which delivers the best operational performance to support armies in theaters of operations. The EuroflirTM 510 is installed above the gunner and captain, on a roof mounting. It will bring the crew unbeatable observation performance, even in conditions of degraded visibility, offering the capability to neutralize threats by both day and night. The EuroflirTM 510 is designed for easy integration into the Tiger and enables all the helicopter’s armaments to be used.
The Eurocopter Tiger is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter which first entered service in 2003. It is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter), which designate it as the EC665. Following their languages, in Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain, it is called the Tigre. The developed helicopter is similar to the American AH-64 Apache in terms of its capabilities. However, it is much lighter (mass 40% less), since Kevlar and carbon fiber are incorporated into its structure. This gives it greater range and makes it more maneuverable than its equivalent on the other side of the Atlantic. It can fly at a speed of more than 315 km/h over a distance of 800 km. In addition, the Tiger has a greatly reduced radar, thermal and visual signature, to make it as stealthy as possible in the airspace.