The work is being conducted under an 'architecture study' commissioned by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) on 31 July.
According to OCCAR the study aims "to define the so-called 'Tiger Mk3' - the future configurations materialising the mid-life upgrade (MLU)" to the helicopter.
The first stage will look at potential new features and enhancements to the helicopter, to improve areas such as survivability, maintainability, or operability, with "a strong focus on life cycle cost" according to OCCAR. The Tiger has been deployed on operations constantly since it made its combat debut in Afghanistan in 2009, and French Tigers have also seen service in Libya and Mali, with OCCAR noting that the Tiger Mk3 study will incorporate lessons learned during these deployments.
OCCAR states the study will allow the Tiger-operating nations (Australia, France, Germany and Spain) "to choose which combinations of equipment, functions, performances and architectures should be selected for the future development phase" of the Tiger helicopter, noting that this is planned to be "delivered within the next decade".
According to OCCAR, the requirements for the Tiger Mk3 have already been "developed and harmonised commonly" between the OCCAR nations and Australia "to maximise the cost-effectiveness of the MLU programme". The organisation adds that "furthermore, France, Germany, Spain and OCCAR are working together with Australia to establish a common cooperative framework to be used for the future preparation and development of Mk3".
The French Army Light Aviation Airbus Helicopters Tiger HAD (Hélicoptère d'Appui Destruction) twin-engine attack helicopter.