Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, June 22, 2023
As part of the Tiger attack helicopter modernization program, Airbus Helicopters has chosen key navigation and flight control equipment from Safran Electronics & Defense for the aircraft to be deployed by French and Spanish armed forces. These advanced systems and equipment will help Tiger crews carry out all missions, under any conditions and even in the most demanding theaters of operation.
SkyNaute is an ultra-compact hybrid inertial navigation system, based on Safran’s patented Crystal HRG (hemispherical resonator gyro) technology. Thanks to this new technology, SkyNaute offers an extremely lightweight and compact design. Combining high integrity and precision, the SkyNaute navigation system delivers outstanding reliability, even in environments where satellite navigation signals are absent or jammed.
The APIRS attitude and heading reference system, largely proven in operation, provides vital flight control data to the helicopter in three axes: roll, heading and pitch. Based on fiber-optic gyros (FOG) and accelerometers using MEMS (micro-electromechanical system) technology, it features high reliability, easy integration in the airframe and self-calibration in flight.
The 4-axis trim actuators artificially reproduce flight control forces for helicopters. They provide load compensation by correcting the anchor point, along with damping and friction capabilities for precision force feedback and feeling. They can also be controlled through the autopilot.
With this selection for Tiger modernization, Safran Electronics & Defense ensures design synergies with other Airbus Helicopters: in particular, SkyNaute has been chosen for the Joint Light Helicopter (HIL) program, APIRS for the H160 and trim actuators on all of the company’s helicopters.
“As a long-standing supplier, we’re delighted that Airbus Helicopters continues to place their trust in our navigation and electromechanical actuation solutions,” said Franck Saudo, CEO of Safran Electronics & Defense. “The proven reliability and accuracy of our equipment will help improve the performance of modernized Tiger helicopters for all of their missions.”
Safran’s Euroflir 510 multispectral optronic sight was already selected for the modernized Tiger in 2022, giving this helicopter state-of-the-art performance capabilities, especially in terms of ergonomic displays and weapon effectiveness.