France approves new Tiger variant

April 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM

PARIS, April 15 (UPI) -- A new variant of Eurocopter's Tiger medium-weight support and protection gunship has been approved for use by the French army.

The approval, in the form of military qualification by DGA, France's Directorate General of Armaments, opens the door for its production for France and awarding of a joint bilateral qualification for use by Spain from the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation, a European intergovernmental body that facilitates collaborative armament programs.

The Tiger, in its support and protection variant, is used for air-to-air combat and fire control. It has a maximum speed (with mast) of 181 miles per hour and a combat range of 430 nautical miles. Weapons include Mistral air-to-air missiles, a 30mm gun and 68mm rockets.

It is used by the armies of France, Spain, Germany and Australia.

The new variant, which carries the same armaments, is for ground attack and support, firing air-to-ground Hellfire missiles.

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