German Tigers end flight operations in Mali


The German military has stopped flying its Tiger attack helicopters in Mali and has sent them home after 14 months.

The Germany defence ministry said four Tigers and 363 personnel were deployed until 15 June 2018 in support of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (Minusma).

The attack helicopters were called on by the United Nations about 185 times. They had to fulfil various tasks including close air support when ground forces were attacked. Frequently, convoys of UN troops were escorted from the air to protect them from attacks or warn them of danger. Furthermore, the tigers were used to monitor important roads or terrain points. And finally, they carried out “Show of Force” operations by flying over convoys, which deterred attackers and also contributed to the protection of ground forces.

Unfortunately a Tiger crashed in July 2017, killing both pilots.

By March 2018, German Tigers had flown 1 000 hours in Mali. Behind the scenes, 14 500 hours of work were carried out as part of inspections, pre-flight and post-flight inspections and troubleshooting actions.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is preparing to deploy three Chinook helicopters to Mali.

The Tigers are due to be replaced by Canadian Griffon helicopters.