Eurocopter EC-665 Tiger PT5R - The Tiger Gets Its Claws

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PT5R 1

In 1984, Germany and France made a decision to collaborate on the creation of a new combat helicopter to supplement and eventually replace the ageing Bo-105s and Gazelles.To this end, Eurocopter Tiger GmbH was formed in 1985 and work on the Tiger began. In total, five prototypes would be constructed, the first three of these being used to test the aerodynamics and avionics of the Tiger, the fourth being a prototype for the HAP variant, and the final one being a prototype for the UHT. This prototype, the PT5 would eventually be updated to the PT5R and would be the final Tiger prototype before serial production began.

The PT5R being a predecessor to the UHT shares many similarities. The most obvious of these is the OSIRIS mast-mounted sight which enables the weapons officer to have a clear view while potentially being concealed behind terrain. The PT5R also shares it’s armament with the UHT, with the ability to carry a combination of HOT-3 ATGMs, PARS-3 ATGMs, FZ225 70mm rocket pods, or 12.7mm gun pods on the inner pylons, as well as a total of four ATAS on the outer pylons for self defence. Also shared between the two Tigers is the lack of a chin mounted turret, instead being replaced with a FLIR camera for the pilot.

The PT5R being a pre-production prototype however means that some features present on the production model were not available. Firstly, the PT5R lacks both a radar warning receiver and laser warning receiver, the socket where they would be on the production model being plated over. Secondly, the Saphir-M chaff/flare system located on the underside of the fuselage was omitted entirely for the prototypes. This lack of any soft or hard countermeasures means that pilots of the PTR5 will need to rely heavily on its excellent manoeuvrability, mast-mounted sight, and fire-and-forget PARS 3 ATGMS. Additionally, it also lacks any of the improvements provided by the ASGARD upgrade, such as the additional ballistic protection around the cockpit present on the Tiger UHT in the German tech tree.


Main rotor diameter: 13.00 m
Tail rotor diameter: 2.70 m
Length overall, rotors turning: 15.80 m
Length of fuselage: 14.08 m
Height to mast sight: 5.20 m
Width over weapon: pylons 4.52 m
Wheel track: 2.38 m
Wheelbase: 7.65 m

Main rotor disc: 132.70 m2
Tail rotor disc: 5.72 m2

Weight empty: 4,350 kg
Max useful load: 1,650 kg
Fuel weight internal: 1,080 kg
Max T-O weight: 6,000 kg

Never-exceed speed: 298 km/h
Max level speed: 259 km/h
Cruising speed: 230 km/h
Max rate of climb at S/L: 642 m/min
Vertical rate of climb at S/L: 312 m/min
Hovering ceiling OGE: 3,200 m
Range on internal fuel: 800 km


PT5R 4
PT5R 3
PT5R 2


Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 2008-2009, pg. 309-311
Aircraft in Detail - EC665 Tiger Walkaround Gallery Index