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It is a bit late for an April fools joke, but in a German army report on an exercise involving the Tiger attack helicopter, a senior German army officer suggests a deployment of the helo to Afghanistan might be possible.Brig. Gen. Jurgen Setzer, the head of the air mobile brigade is quoted as saying that if politicians give the green light "four Tigers could be brought to Afghanistan in 2012, two for operations and two as a technical reserve." The helicopters would be able to reach any point in RC North -- Germany's main area of operations in Afghanistan -- in no more than 60 minutes.Setzer says the Tigers could be used for convoy escort, fire support, or reconnaissance.Such an operation would be a huge step forward for Germany's Tiger helicopter force, which has been languishing. France has already deployed its Tigers to Afghanistan and Australia, which received its helos later, appears much further along in getting the system into operational service.The main problem for the German military is that there is little indication there would be much political support in Germany for such an out-of-area operation. Given Germany's decision not to deploy combat air power to Afghanistan, and its decision to not become involved in NATO operations in Libya, a political green light for a Tiger deployment to Afghanistan at this point seem all-but inconceivable, although a spate of casualties the country's ground forces have suffered would argue for providing the air support.
ar99, Tiger, Eurocopter, Germany
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