We now know which equipment has been selected for the four Airbus H160s of the Navy's intermediate fleet.
The equipment of the four Airbus H160s
We now know which equipment has been selected for the four Airbus Helicopters H160 of the Navy's intermediate fleet. The radio equipment will be complete with V/UHF radios and satcom. A finder direction will enable distress radio transmissions to be located. As part of their maritime safety mission, these aircraft will also be equipped with an AIS (automatic identification system) for the transmission of their identification data. This information is of interest because it is broadcast well beyond the radar range, but this AIS is also used as a decoy by outlaws of the sea.
Winch and smooth rope for Marine commandos
In terms of aerotowing, they will benefit from a winch and a smooth rope capacity, illustrating that these Airbus Helicopters H160s can also be used by Marine commandos, in training and possibly in operations. The installation of an armoured floor confirms this possibility: the Marine commandos are posted in Lorient, the H160s will be based in Lann-Bihoué and Cherbourg. Marine riflemen, who now also have missions of primary reaction to terrorist attacks, are also natural subscribers.
Binoculars and EO/IR Euroflir 410
For navigation, detection and identification, pilots will wear night vision binoculars and the EO/IR Euroflir 410 from Safran Electronics and Defence has been selected for these devices (as for the 10 H160s of the gendarmerie, moreover). A searchlight will also be available, with a white mode and night vision binoculars (discreet mode). Another advantage of the H160 is a 4-axis autopilot, presented as "advanced", which can be used to automatically follow a boat. This is a very useful feature when depositing a smooth rope or winch on a moving boat in particular. These devices will also be able to carry a removable medical equipment holder. In any case, space will be more limited than on board the Caïman Marine, with 12 theoretical occupants (including the two pilots).