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The Role of Dual-Use Helicopters in the Security and Defence Field


In the current debate on military capabilities and defence industry, the term “dual-use” means those technologies that can be used to develop systems and equipment for both civilian and military purposes. Changes occurred in modes of technological innovation have brought about a growing interconnection between the civilian, security and defence sectors, especially from an industrial point of view. In this context, “dual-use helicopters” refer to platforms that have been designed in compliance with certain standards and are structurally built so that they can satisfy civilian, military or security users with only minimal adjustments or additions. This volume analyses the use of helicopters by armed forces, law enforcement agencies and emergency services, in three countries: Italy, France and the United Kingdom. Such landscape is diversified and fragmented, with different approaches and above all helicopter fleets made up of diverse platforms of subsequent generations – some with more than 30 years of life cycle behind them. In all three countries, national defence budget’s restrictions have demanded more efficient solutions for the necessary fleet renewal and management in the medium term – a renewal often coupled with a quantitative reduction. In this respect, the option of a dual-use helicopter becomes interesting in that it ensures greater security, effectiveness and efficiency in use by armed forces. This calls for a common and in-depth reflection on the problem by all actors in the defence and security field.

Report prepared within the framework of the research "The role of dual-use helicopters in the security and defence fields".

Italian version: Quaderni IAI 13.

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