The Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters deployed by France and Spain will undergo a mid-life update to boost capabilities at a cost of €65.8 million ($71.9 million) per aircraft.
General military aircraft need to be extended and upgraded after a certain period of service in order to maintain combat effectiveness. Recently it was reported that France and Spain ink deals to upgrade their Tiger attack helicopter to improve their connectivity, precision, and firepower capabilities. The new variant will be designated as Tiger mk3.
But the most surprising thing is not the upgrade of the plane itself, but its price. Because the degradation will cost $71.9 million per helicopter and France cannot afford to spend over $4 billion to modernize all 67 of its aircraft, so has opted to upgrade just 42 in a first tranche at a cost of €2.8 billion ($3.06 billion), with a 2029 delivery date. The remaining 25 might be upgraded later depending on whether Germany joins in after opting out of the initial upgrade decision.
Tiger MkIII is a comprehensive upgrade of the European attack helicopter’s systems. Proven in combat, the Tiger is difficult to detect, highly agile, and highly survivable, something operators will continue to benefit from with the MkIII upgrade. The new standard will allow the platform to be connected to the digital battlefield in order to perform manned-unmanned teaming as well as share tactical information in real time. It will also provide an unrivaled range of weapons (turret gun, laser-guided rockets and missiles) and renewed detection and targeting capabilities. The integration of state-of-the art avionics will reduce the crew’s workload and enable them to be fully focused on mission execution.