The German Bundeswehr has sealed a contract with Airbus Helicopters to acquire up to 82 H145M multi-role helicopters.
According to the Airbus press release, this procurement, consisting of 62 confirmed orders and an additional 20 optional units, marks the largest-ever acquisition of H145M aircraft and the most expansive deployment of the HForce weapon management system to date.
The contract encompasses a comprehensive seven-year support and service package, ensuring seamless integration and optimal functionality upon deployment. Notably, the German Army is slated to receive 57 helicopters, while the Luftwaffe’s special forces are set to acquire five.
Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, expressed pride in the Bundeswehr’s decision, emphasizing the H145M’s robustness and highlighting the German Air Force’s substantial operational experience with the H145M LUH Special Operations Forces fleet. He assured adherence to an ambitious delivery schedule, with initial deliveries scheduled for 2024, less than a year after contract signing.
The H145M stands as a versatile multi-role military helicopter, equipped to execute a diverse range of missions efficiently. Its adaptability allows rapid reconfiguration, transforming from a light attack platform, armed with both axial ballistic and guided weaponry, to a specialized operations version complete with swift rappelling equipment. Offering comprehensive mission packages that encompass hoisting and external cargo capabilities, the H145M also integrates options for future advancements, such as Manned-Unmanned Teaming integration and upgraded data links and communication systems.
Integral to the ordered H145Ms is the HForce weapon management system, providing fixed provisions that enable pilots’ training on helicopters identical to those employed for operational combat. This integration eliminates costly type transfers and ensures the highest level of professionalization.
As the military variant of the established H145 helicopter, the H145M belongs to a globally acclaimed family of aircraft that has collectively amassed over seven million flight hours. Employed by various armed and law enforcement entities worldwide for the most demanding missions, the Bundeswehr already operates 16 H145M LUH SOF and 8 H145 LUH SAR helicopters.
With its Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines and full authority digital engine control (FADEC), the H145M boasts exceptional performance. Its Helionix digital avionics suite, incorporating advanced flight data management and a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, significantly reduces pilot workload during missions. Notably, its remarkably low acoustic footprint positions the H145M as the quietest helicopter in its class.