Airbus Helicopters operates Military Support Centers (MSC) for the French and German Armed Forces. Their organizational structures and processes are fully aligned with each customer's needs and offer an extensive portfolio of services.
The German Military Support Center
Airbus Helicopters operates a Military Support Center (MSC) for Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) helicopters. Based in Donauwörth, Germany, the center’s approximately 900 employees guarantee a constantly available global service for maintenance, support and engineering services covering almost all Bundeswehr rotorcraft:
- CH-53 (different versions)
- Sea King Mk41
- Sea Lynx Mk88A
The German MSC supports around 270 helicopters for the German Armed Forces, representing 36,000 flight hours per year.
The German MSC, which also involves Bundeswehr personnel, is part of Airbus Helicopters’ strong cooperation with Germany’s Armed Forces. Integrated military personnel (from sergeant to staff officer) are deployed as technicians, inspectors and engineers.
Also among its cooperative projects are the NH90/Tiger Systems Support Center in Donauwörth, Germany and the NH90/Tiger cooperative aircraft engineering operation, which is also located in Donauwörth. These two units ensure the reliable, economical and continuous operation of technologically advanced products through services tailored for specific mission requirements.
The NH90/Tiger Systems Support Center concentrates expertise and maximizes cost efficiencies to ensure Airbus Helicopters and its partners are able to quickly adapt program software with changing conditions and requirements.
In Donauwörth, a mobile team is responsible for technical and logistics support, analysis and troubleshooting, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities as part of the NH90/Tiger cooperative aircraft engineering operation. This team also provides maintenance training for soldiers on UH-Tiger and NH90 airframes.
Examples of MSC operations include:
- CH53 Obsolescence removal
- Tiger UHT ASGARD upgrade
- NH90 Forward Air Medevac modification
Comprehensive engineering and logistics support continues when a helicopter leaves Airbus Helicopters’ premises, with the German MSC providing services wherever the Bundeswehr operates, including in foreign operations such as Afghanistan.
This full-service package ranges from upgrades, maintenance and repair of helicopters to material and fleet management, along with practical training for soldiers and support for military campaigns.
Airbus Helicopters works in coordination with the customer at many Bundeswehr locations. Examples of long-term partnerships include full performance-based support for H135 training helicopters at the Army Air Corps school in Bückeburg, NH90 service support in Bückeburg and Fassberg, and Cougar logistics management for the German chancellor in Berlin.
The German MSC’s engineering services keep the Bundeswehr’s helicopters fit for the mission.
To meet evolving requirements, the MSC develops equipment upgrades and performance improvements, along with providing reliable engineering solutions – from conceptual design studies to the production and review of assembly documents.
Working closely with the German Armed Forces, the MSC implements, qualifies and certifies these modifications, upgrades and systems integration measures in coordination with authorities from the German Armed Forces.
Product monitoring, failure analysis, condition surveillance, and manufacturing support, including the issue of repair instructions and the dispatch of engineers or technicians for on-site helicopter maintenance, are also offered by this operation.
In addition to the installation of modifications, upgrades, and retrofits, the German MSC also maintains and repairs helicopters and components – bringing cost and time benefits from combining individual services.
When a helicopter is grounded for maintenance, the MSC can take advantage of this opportunity to carry out other work such as life-time extension, special inspections, major repairs and new equipment tests. This facility also manages a spare parts depot to ensure that the Bundeswehr always has access to the necessary maintenance material.
These services are embedded in an integrated logistics service that includes: logistical support analysis (LSA); material procurement; technical documentation; management of ground service equipment and special tools; fleet management; training and provision of training resources.
The French Military Support Center
Airbus Helicopters created a dedicated Military Support Center (MSC) in France in January 2015. This new entity offers a centralized portfolio of services for the French government, fully dedicated to support more than 500 helicopters operated by the French Armed Forces. Based in Marignane, France, Airbus Helicopters’ French MSC brings together all of the company’s resources needed to support the French military’s helicopters while offering a fully dedicated customer interface. These include:
- Technical, industrial, and logistics support
- Extensive aircraft MRO capabilities
- Support for combat deployment of the French armies
- Transversal management of fleets, such as the Tiger, NH90, and Cougar, to ensure an optimum aircraft availability
- Business support such as Quality, Human Resources, Finance, and business improvement
Around 500 employees and 10,000 square meters of workshops are dedicated to serving this customer. In addition, 30 technical representatives and logistics field representatives have been dispatched to various customer bases.