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Eurosatory 2022: Airbus showcases Tiger Mk III upgrades

France, along with Spain, is to upgrade its Tiger attack helicopters (pictured at the Eurosatory 2022 exhibition) to the latest Mk III standard. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus plans a raft of equipment enhancements under the Mk III upgrade programme that is expected to take the Tiger attack helicopter out to the 2050s, including a radically remodelled cockpit and other improvements showcased at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris from 13 to 17 June.

Speaking to Janes and other defence media ahead of the event, the head of the Tiger Mk III programme, Victor Gerin-Roze, said that the mid-life upgrade, under contract for France and Spain, will be built around a remodelled cockpit designed to reduce the effort taken to fly the aircraft at the same time as increasing the pilot's focus on performing the mission.

“We will reduce the pilot workload with a new touchscreen display, giving them more time to think about performing and really focusing on the mission. The workload is currently huge on the Tiger, and so we really have to use the pilot in the most efficient way possible – reducing the focus on the flight and more on the mission and communicating with the troops on the ground,” he said.

As well as updating the aircraft's avionics suite and modernising the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display (HMD), the Tiger Mk III cockpit will feature a FlytX fully digital ‘glass' cockpit in place of the twin multi-function display (MFD) units and gauges.

“We are limited by the size of the cabin in terms of wide-area displays, but it will be as wide as you can have in the space that's available. We have taken all the space,” Gerin-Roze said.

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