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Ministry slams defective Tiger attack helicopter

AFP · 25 May 2010, 18:46

Published: 25 May 2010 18:46 GMT+02:00

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Germany has ordered 80 of the helicopters from Eurocopter, a subsidiary of the France-based European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), but a ministry spokesman said the aircraft was marred by technical bugs.

"There are serious defects, particularly with its wiring," rendering the Tigers unready for combat, the spokesman told AFP.

Of the 80 Tiger helicopters Germany ordered in 1999, 67 were to have been delivered by the end of 2009. Eleven Tiger helicopters have been delivered but "not the expected version," the spokesman said.

He said the first combat-ready helicopters were not expected before 2012 and called the delays a blow for the military which "urgently" needs the aircraft in Afghanistan, where Germany has deployed about 4,300 troops.

Eurocopter said in a statement that it was working on the defects.

"Corrective measures related to Tiger's wiring problems have been developed, agreed by the customer and are being implemented," it said. "The first two helicopters will be handed over to the German official services in June and July for intensive tests."

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The German government has said it aims to begin withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan next year.

Another EADS plane, the Airbus A400M military transport plane, has also faced major delays amid cost overruns estimated at €5.2 billion ($6.3 billion).

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Your comments about this article

21:01 May 25, 2010 by Henckel
It's one of the oddities of the German language that I saw in a German-language website references to this aircraft as a "kampfhubschrauber" and as a "helikopter".
23:50 May 25, 2010 by Joshontour
Wouldn't that be the same as calling it an attack helicopter and then a chopper or simply copter in English? We have just as many, if not more "oddities" in English to put up with.
00:47 May 26, 2010 by V3RN
Is the use of attack helicopter in some way relevant to the price of eggs, or jsut offending? What may I ask is the sticking-point, Pritt?
06:16 May 26, 2010 by wenddiver
French door stops, er........military equipment. Pretty funny, maybe you can get the Sikorsky, Bell or Boeing technicians to fix them if deployed to Afganistan.
06:36 May 26, 2010 by Frenemy
I think in the end it would've been better to buy a few AH-64 longbows...

@wenddiver: haha, before I read yours, was gonna make the exact same comment ;-)
03:04 May 29, 2010 by Frenemy
no sh!t, this is Germany we're talking about. you actually thought Berlin would let EADS field test the Tiger in Afghanistan?! yeah right dude... (!)
07:29 May 29, 2010 by Frenemy

what?! the french using tigers in Afghanistan??

wow, if this is true, take that as a compliment (I'm not often surprised by defense tech news...its kinda my thing)
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