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Spain approves Tiger III upgrade

Spain has approved funding for the Mk III upgrade of its Tiger attack helicopters. (Spanish MoD)

Spain has approved its participation on the Tiger Mk III upgrade, to be conducted alongside partners France and Germany.

The Spanish Council of Ministers gave its consent on 21 December, agreeing EUR1.2 billion (USD 2.03 billion) in financing from 2029 to 2037.

Once all the nations have given their approval via the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), a contract is likely to be awarded to Airbus Helicopters in early 2022.

The major system upgrades for the Mk III programme include improvements to the mast-mounted electro-optical system; the helmet-mounted sight system; the enhanced vision system; radios; datalinks for manned-unmanned teaming; new air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, guns, and rockets; improved countermeasures; a new navigation system synchronised to the Galileo global positioning system; and an updated avionics suite that includes a new tactical data management system and battlefield management system.

As noted by Janes All the World's Aircraft: Development & Production, Spain received six Tiger Hélicoptère d'Appui et de Protection (HAP) and 18 Tiger Hélicoptère d'Appui Destruction (HAD) versions. Germany received 66 Tigernterstützungshubschrauber Tigers (UHTs), while France received 40 Tiger HAPs and 40 Tiger HADs.

While France and Spain have committed to the Tiger III upgrade, Germany is weighing its options. In November Boeing told Janes that it had received and responded to a request for information from Berlin on its AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter.

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