The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence
The HIL program, for which the Airbus Helicopters’ H160 was selected in 2017, was initially scheduled for launch in 2022 by the current military budget law. Launching the program earlier will enable
During a visit to the Airbus Helicopters headquarters, the Minister also revealed the full-scale mock-up of the H160M that will be presented on the Ministry of the Armed Forces stand at the next Paris Air Show. The helicopter was also given its official name and will be designated as “Guépard” (“Cheetah”) by the French Armed Forces.
The H160 was designed to be a modular helicopter, enabling its military version, with a single platform, to perform missions ranging from commando infiltration to air intercept, fire support, and anti-ship warfare in order to meet the needs of the army, the navy and the air force through the HIL program.
“We are proud that the HIL is considered a strategic program. I would like to thank the Ministry, the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA and the armed forces for their trust and for the close collaboration which helped create the conditions for the program to be brought forward within the framework of the current military budget law. This will make it possible to speed up the replacement of the older generation of aircraft, while optimising the support and availability of the French State’s helicopter fleet,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.
“Our teams are committed to delivering an aircraft in 2026 that meets the needs of the French armed forces in terms of availability, performance
Built around a platform that will enter service next year, the HIL program will benefit from many of the advantages inherent in the civil H160, particularly in terms of support, with simplified maintenance and lower operating costs than the previous generation of helicopters in this category.