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.

Roma, Nuova Cultura, July 2015, 184 p.
Publication date: 

Executive Summary
Introduction, by Alessandro Marrone and Michele Nones
List of Abbreviations

1. The Italian Case Study, by Alessandro R. Ungaro
1.1 The Army
1.1.1 The helicopter fleet and procurement programmes
1.2 The Navy
1.2.1 The helicopter fleet and procurement programmes
1.3 The Air Force
1.3.1 The helicopter fleet and procurement programmes
1.4 The Carabinieri
1.5 Law enforcement agencies and emergency services
1.5.1 The Italian National Police
1.5.2 The Italian Coast Guard
1.5.3 The State Forestry Corps
1.5.4 The Financial Police
1.5.5 The National Fire Corps
1.5.6 The helicopter’s fleet of the Italian Civil Security
1.6 The dual-use helicopters’ option

2. The French Case Study, by Jean-Claude Allard
2.1 The Army: the Aviation’s doctrine and its operational experience
2.1.1 Overview of the fleet
2.1.2 The evolution of the Army Aviation fleet
2.2 The Navy: doctrine and operational experience
2.2.1 Overview of the fleet
2.2.2 Rotating unmanned aerial vehicles
2.2.3 Future perspective
2.3 The Air Force: doctrine and helicopter fleet
2.4 The Special Forces
2.5 The National Gendarmerie
2.5.1 Missions and operational experience
2.5.2 Overview of the fleet
2.5.3 Future perspective
2.6 The Civil Security Agency
2.6.1 Future perspective
2.7 The Custom Agency
2.8 The dual-use helicopters’ option
2.8.1 The decision making process under a joint force command
2.8.2 The joint force procurement and dual-use helicopters

3. The British Case Study, by Douglas Barrie
3.1 The British Armed Forces
3.1.1 Joint forces’ structure
3.2 The British Army doctrine
3.2.1 The Army’s Aviation
3.3 The Royal Air Force (RAF) doctrine
3.3.1 RAF support helicopters
3.4 The Royal Navy doctrine
3.4.1 The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm
3.5 Search and Rescue: the RAF and Royal Navy
3.6 Training
3.7 Law enforcement agencies and emergency services
3.8 The dual-use helicopters’ option

4. The Dual-Use Helicopters Perspective, by Alessandro Marrone and Michele Nones
4.1 Technology: civil, military, or simply dual-use?
4.2 Common elements and peculiarities of the case studies in NATO and EU contexts
4.3 The opportunity of dual-use helicopters

Annex 1. List of interviews
Annex 2. The French case study: the evolution of the helicopter fleet
Annex 3. The French case study: costs analysis

Research area