13 December: Delivery of the first three NH90s to the German Army. The German Army is the first customer to take delivery of the NH90. The aircraft with the serial numbers TGEA02 and TGEA03 will be used for flight training at the German Army Air Corps Weapons School in Bückeburg, while serial number TGEA05 will be used to train maintenance staff.
14 December: The first flight of the HAD version of the Tiger (HAD S/N 5001) takes place in Marignane (France). Compared to the HAP version – armed with an accurate turreted gun, MBDA Mistral air-to-air missile and rocket launchers – the HAD version also features a more powerful engine, Spike and Hellfire air-to-ground missile capabilities, an identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator function, improved ballistic protection, as well as a new electronic warfare (EWS) system.
29 December: OCCAR, the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation managing the Tiger combat helicopter programme, issues the final qualification of the HAP (Hélicoptère d’Appui Protection) and UHT (Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger) versions for France and Germany, respectively. This qualification is issued jointly with the DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) and the BWB (Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung).
17 December: The first flights of the second EC175 prototype, the first NH90 in the TTH version for France and Spain, and the first pre-serial Tiger HAD (fire support and destruction) for France.
The EC175 is a joint programme of Eurocopter and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). This latest EC175 prototype is configured for oil and gas operations, and includes emergency floatation gear, external life rafts, a full set of radio navigation equipment, HTAWS functionalities, HUMS, a cargo sling and hoist, along with a high-performance air conditioning system.
As a basis configured for day and night tactical transport operations in all environments, the French NH90 TTH is an 11-metric tonne helicopter tailored for missions that include search and rescue, personnel recovery and casualty evacuation. The NH90 TTH will progressively replace the French Army Aviation’s (ALAT) legacy fleet of Puma and Super Puma helicopters in their primary roles.
A multidisciplinary team from Eurocopter España contributed to this Spanish NH90 programme milestone, which involved the first NH90 equipped with GE CT7-8F5 engines.
The Tiger HAD has a maximum takeoff weight of 6.6 metric tonnes, a more powerful MTR390 engine, an upgraded optical sighting system, an identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator, improved ballistic protection and a new electronic warfare system.