Eurocopter Tiger Helicopter - Multinational:
The Airbus Helicopters Tiger, formerly known as the Eurocopter Tiger, is a four-bladed, twin-engined attack helicopter which first entered service in 2003. It is manufactured by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters), the successor company to Aérospatiale's and DASA's respective helicopter divisions, which designate it as the EC665. In Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre.
Development of the Eurocopter Tiger started during the Cold War, and it was initially intended as an anti-tank helicopter platform to be used against a Soviet ground invasion of Western Europe. During its prolonged development period the Soviet Union collapsed, but France and Germany chose to proceed with the Tiger, developing it instead as a multirole attack helicopter. It achieved operational readiness in 2008.
The Eurocopter Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate other advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Improved variants have since entered service, outfitted with more powerful engines and compatible with a wider range of weapons. Since the type's introduction to service, Tigers have been used in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali.
The Tiger is capable of undertaking a wide range of combat missions, including armed reconnaissance and surveillance, anti-tank and close air support, escort and protection of friendly assets; and can operate during day or night in all-weather conditions, and has been designed to include operations in the aftermath of nuclear, biological, or chemical warfare. The Tiger can also be used in the maritime environment, able to operate from the decks of ships including frigates and during extreme weather conditions. Amongst the Tiger's notable qualities, it possesses very high levels of agility, much of which is attributed to the design of its 13-meter four-bladed hingeless main rotor; the Tiger can perform full loops and negative g manoeuvres. Power is provided by a pair of FADEC-controlled MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce MTR390 turboshaft engines.
The Eurocopter Tiger has a tandem-seat 'glass cockpit' and is operated by a two-man crew; the pilot is placed in the forward position, with the gunner seated behind. Either of the crew members can manage the weapon systems or the primary flight controls, switching roles if necessitated; in addition to flying the aircraft, the Tiger's pilot would typically be in control of the self-defence systems and communications, as well as some secondary weapons functions. While some of the weapons use dedicated control interfaces, such as the anti-tank Trigat missile, air-to-air weapons can be managed via controls on both sets of collective and cyclic sticks. More details