Thales, a pioneer of Integrated Electronic Standby Instruments, has been selected by Airbus Helicopters to provide the third-generation IESI for its new civil and military helicopters: the H135, H145, H160 dual and H175. This new-generation IESI is specifically designed to meet the requirements of helicopter operations, and its environmental footprint is significantly smaller. Progressive entry into service will begin in 2026.
On a helicopter, the IESI must be able to withstand high levels of vibration and electromagnetic interference as well as offer the pilot optimal readability in all circumstances, especially when using night vision goggles. In a single piece of equipment, the IESI incorporates pressure probes and sensors, accelerometers and gyrometers, which form an artificial horizon, as well as an LCD display, and provides the pilot with the vital speed, altitude and attitude information needed for safe flying.
Perfectly optimised to the specific constraints of helicopters, the third-generation IESI from Thales also offers enhanced reliability and a smaller environmental footprint, thanks to 25% lower weight and 33% lower power consumption compared to the first generation
The first IESI will enter service in 2027 on the Guépard joint light helicopter, the military version of the H160; it will follow the entry into service of the IESI on the Airbus H135, H145, H160 civil and H175 helicopters, scheduled for early 2026.
The Thales teams are delighted to have been selected by Airbus Helicopters. Tens of thousands of pilots around the world rely every day and in all circumstances on this safety-critical equipment, which our engineers were first to invent and which has again today demonstrated its importance.
This latest service entry will be another step in an industry adventure with its roots in France for 30 years. Thales’s Vendôme facility, which has been producing artificial horizons since 1993, became the centre for IESI design, assembly and testing when the Group launched production in the late 1990s. Since then, 30,000 aircraft and helicopters around the world have been equipped with Thales IESI instruments. Three other Thales sites in France are also gearing up for the production and repair of subassemblies for this equipment: Châtellerault, which designs and produces inertial systems, Moirans, which provides the LCD display, and Valence, where the pressure sensors are made.