German Army Tiger crashes in Mali

File image of a German Army Tiger over Afghanistan.

A German Army Aviation Corps Airbus Helicopters UH Tiger crashed while on a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali on July 26, killing both crew on board.

The UH Tiger reportedly came down in the West African nation’s desert just after midday local time 70km north-east of Gao International Airport while the helicopter was monitoring ground confrontations in the area.

The crash was reported by a second Tiger following in the mission.

Deputy Inspector General of the German Armed Forces Vice Admiral Joachim Ruehle said there was no indication the helicopter had been downed by an attack.

“The reason for the crash is still completely open,” said Vice Admiral Ruehle.

“There is no evidence at this point of any outside factors.”

The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has deployed four UH Tigers and four NH Industries NH90 helicopters to Gao as part of its contribution to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Vice Admiral Ruehle confirmed routine flights by other UH Tigers will be suspended indefinitely pending an investigation into the cause of the accident, with only flights deemed necessary to be undertaken.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of the Tiger accident which happened yesterday in Mali,” tweeted Airbus Helicopters president and chief executive Guillaume Faury.

“We’ll provide our full support to the German Army.”

The German government signed an agreement with Airbus Helicopters (then Eurocopter) in March 2013 to purchase 57 UH Tigers for its Army’s Aviation Corps.