Spanish Army Tiger Helicopters Homecoming
In preparation for the Spanish homecoming, the eight pilots and 16 maintenance technicians of the Spanish military contingent were trained by Eurocopter staff at the Le Luc military base in France. Eurocopter has also been carrying out maintenance on the helicopters, providing engineering support and managing spare parts and ground equipment. Eurocopter will continue support activities for the Spanish Army at the Almagro base for these three HAP Tigers as well as for the three remaining Tigers to be delivered.
The Spanish Army will have 24 HAD Tigers at its disposal in due course; 18 Tigers are to be delivered in HAD configuration, and the other six – which are in HAP version – are to be retrofitted to HAD. In comparison to the original HAP version, the HAD Tiger features a Spike or Hellfire air-to-ground missile, an uprated engine ensuring an increased useful load, IFF system, electronic warfare system, and enhanced ballistic protection.
The Spanish HADs will be assembled on the forthcoming final assembly line – operational from 2008 onwards – at the new Eurocopter factory in Albacete, Castilla-La Mancha. Spain is already the exclusive producer of tail booms for the Tiger, manufactured entirely from composite materials.
In 2003, the Spanish government selected the Tiger as the combat helicopter for its armed forces. Since then, an increasingly close working relationship has developed between Eurocopter and the Spanish government, consolidated in subsequent years when major contracts were signed for 48 EC135s and 45 NH90s. Establishing a large industrial facility locally attested to the central role that Eurocopter Spain is set to play within the Group. The Spanish structure is now fully equipped for engineering, production, upgrade, delivery and logistical support activities. Albacete is entirely responsible for marketing, program direction and customer support.