France is supporting Airbus Helicopters with the order for eight H225Ms and a prototype of the VSR700 unmanned helicopter

The French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, announced that the Armaments Directorate-General (DGA) has ordered eight additional H225M helicopters and a second prototype of the VSR700 unmanned helicopter. The H225M are used by the French aerospace industry. The VSR700 is an unmanned aerial vehicle system developed in collaboration with the Naval Group for the French Navy. This arrangement is part of the stimulus package announced by the French government in 2020 to support the national aviation industry, which also includes the order of two H145s for the Scurit Civile and 10 H160s for the Gendarmerie Nationale.

According to Airbus, the support from the French government will help secure 960 jobs at Airbus Helicopters and its suppliers over the next three years. These contracts benefit the French helicopter industry as a whole, including other major French aerospace providers such as Safran Helicopters Engines with the Makila 2A engines on the H225M. Saffron power packs with the additional unit Saphir 20; Safran Electronic Defense with the electro-optical system Euroflir 410M NG and the inertial navigation system Sigma; and Thales with the V / UHF radio TRA6034 and the transponder IFF TSC4000.

With more than 300 French suppliers involved in the H225M supply chain, the contract will also benefit a wide variety of small and medium-sized businesses. Delivery of the H225M is scheduled to begin in 2024 and will replace Puma. You will be stationed at the base of the Cazaux Air and Space Force in southwest France. The H225M has over 143,000 hours of operation. It is an 11-ton helicopter with a proven tank capacity in the French and Brazilian Air Forces.

The VSR700 is based on the lightweight Cabri G2 helicopter built by Hlicoptres Guimbal and is designed for operation with other marine systems on board. Its development is part of the SDAM (Systme de Drone Arien de la Marine) program for the French Navy. With a maximum take-off weight range of 500 to 1,000 kg, it can transport several full-size marine sensors over a longer period of time and can be operated from existing ships together with a helicopter with little logistical space requirement. He made his first flight in 2019 (Jos M Navarro Garca).

Photo: The H225M (Airbus photo).

The VSR700 during its maiden flight (for Airbus).

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