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French Navy receives sixth & final Airbus Helicopter H160 for maritime rescue missions.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the French MoD on February 29, 2024, the French Navy welcomed the delivery of the sixth and final H160 helicopter.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Airbus Helicopter H160. (Picture source: Raphael Grinevald/DGA)

This delivery marks the completion of an order placed with Airbus Helicopters, Babcock France, and Safran Helicopter Engines in 2020 and 2021. The aircraft has been stationed at the Lanvéoc-Poulmic Naval Air Base.

The H160 helicopters, specifically tailored for sea rescue missions, have been progressively deployed since 2023 from the Cherbourg airport and naval air bases at Lanvéoc-Poulmic and Hyères.

These advanced aircraft are set to replace the Caïman Marine, Dauphin, and Panther helicopters for SECMAR (maritime rescue) alert missions. The older helicopters will be reassigned to their primary maritime combat roles aboard national navy ships.

Manufactured by Airbus Helicopters, with mission-specific modifications by Babcock France, the H160s feature a winch, the Safran Electronics & Defense Euroflir 410 optronic system, and modular cabins for optimized layout for state action at sea missions. They are also certified for night vision goggle flights, crucial for nighttime missions.

These helicopters are essential for maintaining continuous maritime rescue missions along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts and the English Channel.

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