Airbus Helicopters has delivered the final H145M multi-role helicopter to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr).
The helicopters, to be stationed in Laupheim Air Base, are operated by the Bundeswehr special forces. The Bundeswehr has ordered 15 H145M helicopters as the launch customer of the type in 2013. The procurement was as part of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Special Operations Forces (SOF) project and received the first aircraft at the end of 2015.
“The LUH SOF project is an excellent example of what a constructive cooperation between the Bundeswehr, the authorities and industry can achieve,” said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters in Germany. “I would like to thank all of our partners for the efficient and successful cooperation, and will be delighted to push ahead in this spirit with the implementation of further programmes. I wish the Bundeswehr special forces all the best when using their new helicopters.”
The H145M is the military version of the light twin-engine H145 commercial helicopter that was first delivered in 2014. The entire H145 fleet has now clocked up more than 50,000 flight hours. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes, the H145M can be used for a wide range of tasks, including transport, supply, surveillance, air rescue, armed reconnaissance and medical evacuation.
The Bundeswehr’s H145M LUH SOF helicopters are equipped with a fast roping system to transport special forces, a high-performance camera system for reconnaissance, as well as equipment for fire support during deployment, enabling special forces to use the helicopters in a wide variety of new fields. Furthermore, the helicopter’s ballistic protection and electronic countermeasures system offers a high level of security during deployment.
The helicopters are capable of day and night operations and operating in adverse conditions. the H145M is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). The helicopter is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite which includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot. The H145M is claimed to be the quietest helicopter in its class by the manufacturer with low acoustic footprint.
In 2015, Airbus Helicopters signed a service contract with the Bundeswehr, providing support to the customer until at least 2021. Airbus Helicopters’ responsibilities include managing and implementing maintenance and repair work, supplying spare parts and ensuring airworthiness. The fact that more than 3,900 flight hours have already been logged speaks for the choice of support concept, the good working relationship and the reliability of the helicopters.
The H145 helicopter family is already in use with various countries. The US Armed Forces has ordered 427 UH-72A Lakota helicopters in utility role. The Republic of Serbia has ordered nine H145M helicopters and Thailand five.
Source: Airbus Helicopters