“The most remarkable thing is that the Caïman allows us to conduct these offensive actions in the middle of the desert, through the darkest of nights,” Lieutenant Colonel Brice adds. “The 4-axis autopilot, fly-by-wire flight controls and forward looking infrared (FLIR) navigation in the TopOwl helmet-mounted display combine to deliver assault landing capacities unique to an aircraft of this category. In fact, we’re still learning to take full advantage of its huge potential.”
One target for action includes battlefield digitalisation: today, the crew of a Caïman on their way to a combat zone can receive real-time updates of the tactical situation on their screens, then inform the commandos on board by intercom. The fluidity of the manoeuvre is already impressive, but in future, when commandos can plug their digital tablets directly into the onboard network to share information, it will be even more so.