posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 11:32 AM
So far, I don't believe that there are many production Tigers flying yet. Although some reports say that "...the Tiger is in service with
France, Germany, Spain, and Australia..." Both France and Germany are waiting on software glitches in their aircraft as is Spain (Aviation Week &
Space Technology, 01/31/2005, page 30). I think two or three Tigers have been shipped to Australia, three to Spain and about ten or 12 each to France
In the same article, the Eurocopter folks say they're going to "fight hard" for the fifty proposed Turkey orders for an attack helicopter; an RFP
of which has recently been received.
The last time the Turks issued an RFP for an attack helicopter, the Tiger didn't make the short list, and Turkey asked both Boeing (AH-64D) and Bell
(UH-1W) for a lot of Christmas presents; not just some co-production, but agreement for Turkey to build additional aircraft under license and market
them to other nations in the area. Boeing told them to pound sand; they weren't going to undercut their own sales for a short-term gain, and Turkey
However, Bell couldn't get the UH-1Z built on schedule because of (surprise!) software glitches; and the Turks realized they didn't have all that
much money, because they'd undergone that horrible earthquake in 2000 which was financially ruinous to them. So they canceled the Bell award.
Now they're trying again, and this time, the Tiger may have a bit of a chance, because of the EU politics involved (Turkey is part of the EU now),
and there's a bit more political pressure for them to buy an EU airplane. But I still don't think they have the money for a major weapons system
procurement, although I do know that Boeing, as well as a few other manufacturers, is actively pursuing the procurement.
Right now, the Tiger, which was designed to fight the Soviet threat, is looking for international customers. If France and Germany buy the variants
they say they will, and Spain and Australia do as well, it still won't be enough to make the program break even.