H160 Contract

The global launch customer for the latest generation Airbus helicopter 

Through the delivery of this significant contract, we have become the first operator in the world to operate several H160s.

Partnering with Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines, the contract includes the provision of six H160 helicopters modified for Search and Rescue. The H160s are part of the interim fleet replacing the Alouette III before the Guépard Marine helicopter’s entry into service in 2029.

The H160s will be used for rescue operations, so that the French Navy’s NH90s and Panthers can concentrate on their primary missions – anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

To make sure the new aircraft suit the needs of the French Navy, 13 modifications were implemented by Babcock France in its site in Le Cannet-des-Maures.

Our ten-year H160 contract represents a milestone in the French Ministry of Defence procurement process. For the first time, a contract includes both the hire and purchase of a brand new aircraft as well as its through life support. The initial contract for four interim H160 was awarded in 2020, and an option for two more helicopters was signed in May 2021.

The H160 is a versatile helicopter, equipped with Inlet filters and various Supplemental Type Certificates to allow it to carry out sovereign missions such as recue at sea, transport, and maritime surveillance. With the support and know-how of our teams, the French Navy can accomplish its missions in complete safety using this latest generation of helicopter.

At a glance:

  • Providing helicopters to the French Navy
  • Working in partnership with Airbus Helicopters and Safran Helicopter Engines to provide six H160 helicopters, helicopter modifications and through-life support
  • Global launch customer for the H160 helicopter

A next generation aircraft

The H160 combines various technologies to make it a truly innovative aircraft. Powered by Arrano engines and guaranteeing pilots better visibility thanks to its large glass nose, unlike any other aircraft, it also offers comfort for the diver when working under the aircraft during missions at sea.

Advancing maintenance through analytics

Continuing to develop capabilities in H160 maintenance, Babcock France have become the first operator in the world to deliver HUMS (Health and Usage Monitoring Systems) on the aircraft. With the objective of providing tailor-made maintenance to the aircraft, the end goal is to implement ‘predictive’ maintenance from algorithm-based analysis – both leveraging data and continuously improving the performance of the H160.

H160 in numbers

  • 10-year contract
  • Over 13,900 flying hours
  • 3 24-hour SAR bases for the French Navy
  • 6 H160 aircraft

Find out more