The Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), France’s defence procurement agency, has placed an order on behalf of the French Ministry of the Interior for 10 Airbus H160 helicopters in law enforcement configuration for the Gendarmerie Nationale. The first deliveries should take place before the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

According to Airbus Helicopters, this DGA order is linked to the recently announced contract for the procurement of 169 H160Ms for the French Ministry of Armed Forces and is part of the stimulus plan to support the national aerospace industry unveiled by the French government in 2020.

This is the first time the H160 has been ordered for law enforcement operations.

“The French Ministry of the Interior contract is an important milestone for the H160,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “We now have customers for the offshore transportation, private and business aviation, search and rescue and law enforcement mission segments, showing that the H160 is a truly versatile aircraft. Developing this new configuration for the H160 in cooperation with an experienced customer like the Gendarmerie Nationale is key to the success of the programme.”

The Gendarmerie Nationale’s H160s will be fitted with a Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system and will have winching and fast-roping capabilities. Airbus Helicopters and the Gendarmerie Nationale will also work together to develop a tailored mission management system for the aircraft.

The H160s will be covered by a global support contract with Airbus Helicopters, which will include the provision of technical support, spare part stocks at four Gendarmerie bases and connected services.

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