Defence: new cards in military helicopter MCO
Defence: new cards in military helicopter MCO
© Jean-Marc Tanguy

| Jean-Marc Tanguy | Source : Air&Cosmos 362 mots

Defence: new cards in military helicopter MCO

Sabena Technics integrates Héli-Union, which becomes its helicopter division, taking over STM's activities in the Bouches-du-Rhône region: the whole group will weigh heavily in the French helicopter MCO market.

Sabena technics takes over Héli-Union

Faced with the challenges of verticalization in aeronautical MCO, the industry is also responding with... horizontalization : Sabena technics is buying Héli-Union, and now claims to provide de facto support for " half of France's military helicopters " In various ways. Sabena Technics was initially involved in Puma reloading operations at Dinan, and with the acquisition of Aéromécanique (renamed STM), was able to win support for the Air Force's Fennec helicopters at Orange and Villacoublay. Héli-Union is much more active on maneuvering helicopters and Navy fleets. The company has especially won the Dauphin intermediate fleet contract, 12 aircraft of which 7 have already been delivered, but in an incomplete standard known as 99. 

H160 and NH90?

The first standard 100 (allowing, in particular, night hovering and the carriage of a Euroflir 410 optronic ball) is due to be delivered soon for testing at CEPA 10S in Hyères. Héli-Union has also carried out work on public service Dauphin Ns, and also has its sights set on the H160/Guépard (in which Babcock already has a foothold via a contract with the Navy) and the NH90 (currently maintained by Airbus Helicopters and the SIAé). The new weight taken by the Sabena technics- Heli Union ensemble may shape the State's thinking on these fleets, especially in the face of the new issue of high intensity and war economy, which impacts MCO.

More robust export solutions 

Heli-Union also had strong positions in maneuvering helicopters, Cougar, Caracal and the three presidential Super Pumas. A superb portfolio therefore, which includes the Chelem verticalization contract, with direct support of several refurbished Cougar helicopters in Pau for the 5th RHC and the 4th RHFS. This is a successful formula that has made it possible to overcome the shortage of mechanics in the French Army, and which could well be applied to other fleets, and which, given the size of the maintenance base and the number of contracts, will inevitably enable us to offer more robust solutions for export. In MCO, but also training : Heli Union has thus contributed to train the air navigators of the Mongolian civil security ex-nihilo, a model that could also find takers among military customers.


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