Airbus Helicopters is displaying a full-scale mock-up of its new H160M military rotorcraft, marking the first public display of the new type. The new rotorcraft which has been selected as the new Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger; HIL) for the French armed forces is slated for service entry in 2026.
The mock-up of the helicopter on display at Le Bourget was armed with an MBDA Sea Venom/AGL anti-ship missile and a 20 mm cannon on each wing pylon.
Additional details of the new generation rotorcraft will be revealed over the course of the ongoing air show.
The H160M was formally unveiled by French Defence Minister Florence Parly during her visit to Airbus Helicopters’ Head Quarters at Marignane in May.
The H160M will be called ‘Cheetah’ in French military service and current plans call for a total of 169 helicopters to be acquired by the army (80), air force (40) and navy (49).
The new H160M will replace 5 different rotorcraft fleets in operation with the French armed forces, namely; Gazelle (Army), Alouette III, Dauphin and Panther (Navy) and Fennec (Air Force).