Airbus Helicopters has handed over the first two of five lightweight military multi-role H145M helicopters to the Royal Thai Navy.
This marks an important milestone in the H145M programme on its way to the final acceptance and entry into service in Thailand at the end of 2016. A delegation from the Royal Thai Navy and Airbus Helicopters Germany CEO Wolfgang Schoder participated in the ceremony at Airbus Helicopters’ Donauwörth site.
“After the H145M made its market entry with the German Air Force at the end of last year, we are very proud that the Royal Thai Navy has become another operator of the new H145M”, said Wolfgang Schoder. “The helicopter is the most advanced solution for the increasingly challenging demands of our military customers in modern-day missions. It combines state-of-the-art technologies, outstanding performance and true multi-role capabilities while maintaining very high versatility and low operating costs.”
The H145M is the military version of the civil H145 that entered service in mid-2014 and has recently reached the milestone of 15,000 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 naval, utility, reconnaissance, search and rescue, medical evacuation and armed scout.
The Royal Thai Navy H145M is equipped with Multi-Purpose Pylons incl. aerodynamic fairings, cargo hooks, hoists, HF system for SAR operations, weather radar, internal long range fuel tank system and fixed provisions for future special operations upgrade.
These two H145M helicopters will stay in Germany for pilot training at Airbus Helicopters’ Training Academy. All helicopters are scheduled for delivery in Thailand by September 2016.
Designed as a true military multi-role helicopter, the H145M offers a single platform, which is able to perform day and night missions in harsh weather conditions and difficult terrain. Its large mission equipment range, depending on the customer configuration, increases mission flexibility for military operators. The helicopter’s Helionix digital avionics suite – incorporating the in-house developed 4-axis autopilot – is designed to reduce crew workload while providing high levels of safety and improved situational awareness.
The H145M is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). Its low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.
The H145 helicopter family has proven its value for military customers for many years. For instance, the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), the launch customer for the H145M, has ordered 15 of these helicopters in a Special Forces configuration. The third helicopter will be delivered in the coming days.