France’s direction générale de l’armement (DGA) has delivered the first upgraded Panther helicopter to the French Navy.

The Panther helicopter has been upgraded to the new ‘standard 2’ version for improved Nato interoperability through the integration of the L11 data link.

The upgrade includes replacement of the complete avionics suite, integration of flat panel glass displays for navigation and mission management, secure communications, GPS receiver, and a mode S transponder.

The helicopters are also equipped with a day/night camera for improved situational awareness.

DGA awarded a €54m contract to Eurocopter in January 2007 to upgrade the French Navy’s entire fleet of Panthers to the new standard by 2016, according to Defence-Aerospace.

Under the contract, Service Industriel de l’Aéronautique (SIAé) will support Eurocopter by developing and delivering the tactical consoles to complement the new version.