The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has taken delivery of its seventh and eighth Airbus H225M (previously known as EC725) multirole utility helicopters.
Since 2012, the RTAF has placed orders for a total of 12 H225Ms under its fleet modernisation programme. Belonging to a contract signed in 2016, these new additions will join the air force’s existing fleet of six H225Ms for combat search and rescue, search and rescue flights and troop transport missions.
Airbus Helicopters H225M (earlier called Eurocopter EC725 Caracal or Super Cougar) is a long-range tactical transport military helicopter developed from the Eurocopter AS532 Cougar for military use. The Cougar is in turn derived from the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma medium transport/utility helicopter.
H225M is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), and combat search and rescue (CSAR) duties, and is similar to the civilian EC225.
The 11-ton-catergory twin-turbine H225M is relied upon as a force multiplier by many air forces worldwide thanks to its outstanding endurance and fast cruise speed. Featuring state-of-the-art electronic instruments and the renowned 4-axis autopilot system, the multirole helicopter may be fitted with various equipment to suit any role.
Close to 90 H225Ms are currently in service in six countries (France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand) across the globe, surpassing the 100,000 flight hour milestone. Recent customers for the H225M include Kuwait who signed a contract in 2016 for 30 aircraft and Singapore.