Donauwörth – Today, Airbus Helicopters delivered the first two lightweight military multi-role H145M helicopters (LUH SOF) to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). The helicopters will be used by the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), the German Army’s Special Forces, in Laupheim. The Bundeswehr, which is the launch customer for the H145M, has ordered 15 of these helicopters.
“With its cutting-edge technologies, outstanding performance and true multi-role capabilities, the H145M answers to the challenging demands of our military customers in today´s missions”, said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Germany. “We are very proud to hand over these aircraft on time and on budget. From contact signature to first delivery in just two years, this project is a benchmark of efficient cooperation between Bundeswehr, authorities and industry.”
The H145M is the military version of the civil H145 that entered service in summer 2014 and recently reached the milestone of 10,000 flying hours in customer operations. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tons, the H145M can be used for a wide range of military operations including utility, reconnaissance, search and rescue, armed scout, and medical evacuation. The Bundeswehr H145M (LUH SOF) is equipped with a fast roping system for troops, cargo hooks, hoists, a pintle-mounted door gun, ballistic protection and an electronic countermeasures system, which offers new capabilities for KSK special operations.
The aircraft has also been designed for day and night missions as well as for those carried out in harsh weather conditions and difficult terrain. Its mission equipment range also includes a helmet mounted sight and display as well as a self-sealing supply tank. Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, the H145M is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Its low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.
Earlier this year, the Bundeswehr awarded Airbus Helicopters a seven-year comprehensive co-operative support and services agreement. Airbus Helicopters´ responsibilities include the management and implementation of maintenance and repair activities, material supply and airworthiness. “This co-operative full-service contract is a modern and proven answer to the Force´s claims for optimal availability, reliability and readiness of the helicopter fleet. It secures the level of autonomy of the KSK in crisis and war operations while using the best-practice support and service of the global civil H145 fleet”, said Wolfgang Schoder.
Building on the robustness, low operating costs and the especially high operational availability of the H145 family, the H145M is equipped with the Helionix® digital avionics suite, including the 4-axis autopilot developed by Airbus Helicopters. Helionix® significantly supports the pilot during the mission by intelligently providing the right information at the right time to reduce the pilots’ workload. It summarizes relevant flight parameters on single screens for intuitive flight management, thus optimizing the situational awareness in the cockpit and increases flight safety.
The H145 helicopter family has proven its value for military customers for many years. For instance, the US Armed Forces have ordered a total of 427 helicopters of the related model UH-72A Lakota for utility and training missions. All these rotorcrafts have been delivered on time and on budget. The UH-72A achieves operational availability rates of over 94 percent on average.
Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.