by Richard Tomkins
Paris (UPI) Jul 31, 2013
The latest version of the Tiger combat helicopter of the French Army has undergone operational trials at a French military base in Djibouti.
The Tiger HAD, or fire-support and destruction, aircraft is made by Airbus Helicopter, formerly known as Eurocopter.
It is a four-bladed, twin-engine missile-firing attack helicopter.
The French Ministry of Defense said the testing in Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa, were to evaluate the aircraft's performance in high temperature conditions and desert/sand environment, and also or operating the aircraft under difficult conditions.
The tests, it said, were necessary to clear the new aircraft for operational use later this year. Included in the testing was live-fire exercises with gun, rockets and missiles.
The testing lasted one month.
"The campaign was conducted in three phases: a first phase devoted to technical testing of the aircraft, a second phase focused on the Tiger weapon system, and a third phase of wrap-up exercises performed in a tactical scenario, notably in support of the French army's locally-based unit," the Ministry of Defense said.
"Throughout this campaign, the Army Aviation detachment and the Support Group of the French Forces in Djibouti brought their knowledge of the desert environment and its aviation specificities, as well as the logistic support necessary for the Tiger detachment to achieve its mission."
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