By Helicopters Staff
Babcock France has selected the new-generation Euroflir 410 optronic (electro-optical) system developed by Safran Electronics & Defense as part of the contract awarded by French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) to provide four H160 helicopters to the French Navy for a period of 10 years.
These four Airbus H160 rotorcraft will be part of an interim fleet that includes a dozen Dauphin N3 helicopters also fitted with the Euroflir 410. The H160s will be modified by Babcock to meet the French Navy’s operational needs. Feedback from the installation will be used to help design the military version of the H160, dubbed Guépard (Leopard).
The first H160 helicopters outfitted with the Euroflir 410 will be delivered in 2022. Safran also supplies Arrano turboshaft engines for the H160, along with other major equipment items.
Safran explains the Euroflir 410 NG is capable of detecting a ship’s registration number or a person in distress at a distance of several kilometers. It will boost the French Navy’s operational capabilities by enabling it to carry out at-sea Search & Rescue (SAR) missions from bases in Brittany (Lanvéoc-Poulmic) and along the English Channel (Cherbourg).
The Euroflir 410 can provide observation capability under any conditions of visibility, explains Safran, based in large part on its very-long-range multispectral telescope and high-performance line-of-sight stabilization. In addition to being fitted with a high-definition video camera (HDTV) and a medium-wave infrared (MWIR) imager, its multispectral architecture also includes supplementary cameras that, according to Safran, are particularly well suited to severe maritime environments, namely near-infrared and shortwave infrared models.