Babcock France has selected Safran Electronics & Defense’s Euroflir 410 EO/IR (electro-optical/infrared) system to be integrated into four Airbus H160 helicopters that will be supplied to the French Navy. The work is being performed under a ten-year contract awarded by French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement).
The four H160 helicopters will be part of an interim fleet that includes a dozen Dauphin N3 helicopters, which will also be fitted with the Euroflir 410 payload. The H160s will be modified by Babcock to meet the French Navy’s evolving operational needs. Experience gained in the operation of these units by the navy will be used to help design the military version of the H160, known as Guépard (“Cheetah”).
The Euroflir 410 can detect a ship’s registration number or a person in distress at a distance of several kilometers, using a long-range multispectral telescope and high-performance line-of-sight stabilization to provide enhanced observation capabilities under all visibility conditions. It incporporates a high-definition video camera, a medium-wave infrared (MWIR) imager and supplementary near-infrared and shortwave infrared cameras that are designed to withstand severe maritime environments. The system will be used to boost the French Navy’s operational capabilities by enabling it to carry out at-sea Search & Rescue (SAR) missions from bases in Brittany (Lanvéoc-Poulmic) and along the English Channel (Cherbourg).
The Euroflir 410 system is designed and produced in France by Safran. The first H160 helicopters outfitted with the system will be delivered in 2022. Safran also supplies the Arrano turboshaft engines for the H160, as well as other major equipment items.