Airbus Helicopters has selected Safran Electronics & Defense to supply SkyNaute navigation systems to equip future H160M helicopters, developed as part of its tri-service light rotorcraft replacement programme, the hélicoptère interarmées léger (HIL). This contract follows the order from the French Ministry of the Armed Forces for 169 “Guépard” helicopters in December 2021. With its combination of high integrity and precision, the SkyNaute navigation system guarantees a high level of performance, even when GNSS*** signals are absent or jammed. It will enable H160M crews to perform their missions in the most challenging theaters of operations.
The Airbus Helicopters H160 is a medium utility helicopter being developed by Airbus Helicopters. Formally launched at Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida on 3 March 2015, it is intended to replace the AS365 and EC155 models in the firm’s lineup. In June 2015, the first test flight took place. It received its EASA type certification in July 2020, and first deliveries were in December 2021. In March 2017, French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that the H160 was selected as the basis for its tri-service light rotorcraft replacement programme. In May 2019, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly christened this helicopter as H160M Guépard.
Safran Electronics & Defense, formerly known as Sagem Défense Sécurité, is a French company specializing in optronics, avionics and electronic systems, as well as software for civil and military applications in the naval, aeronautical and space sectors. It is one of the ten entities that make up the Safran Group. The company has three divisions: Avionics, Optronics & Defense and Safran Electronics. Today, it has nine facilities in France and twelve subsidiaries spread across four continents. Safran Electronics & Defense is a technology company that develops civil and military solutions for sea, land, air and space applications. In terms of avionics, the company provides numerous types of equipment, ranging from the electric flight control system for the NH90 helicopter to the information system for the Airbus A380, as well as inertial navigation systems and engine control systems.