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France prepares NH90 Special Forces variant
NH90. © Sirpa Terre

France prepares NH90 Special Forces variant

France has awarded a contract for studies of a system to help helicopter pilots fly in degraded conditions. The system is destined for NH90 helicopters to be operated by French Special Forces.

France's DGA defence procurement agency has awarded a contract for studies of a system to help helicopter pilots fly in degraded conditions. The system is destined for NH90 helicopters to be operated by French Special Forces.

The contract concerns the Eurofl'Eye system, a panoramic, multispectral 3D pilot-aid sensor under development by Safran Electronics & Defense and displayed at the Eurosatory show in June. At Eurosatory, Eurofl'Eye highlighted its Trailblazer concept, combining Eurofl'Eye and the company's Euroflir 410 turret.

The system will be used on the NH90 in conjunction with a Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted sight and display. It is designed to provide pilots with an independent 200° view.

The system will be tested on simulators and flying testbeds. The 4th RHFS Special Forces Helicopter Regiment, which will operate the helicopters, will be involved in all stages of the qualification process.

The French multiyear defence spending bill for the period 2019-2025 comprises a requirement for 10 Special Forces NH90s, including six to be delivered by 2025. These machines are intended to replace the H225 Caracals currently operated by the 4th RHFS.

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