Shephard Rotorhub, 1 July 2017
Airbus Helicopters has delivered the 15th and final H145M multi-role helicopter to the German armed forces (Bundeswehr), the company announced on 26 June. Stationed in Laupheim, the helicopters are operated by the Bundeswehr Special Forces.
The Bundeswehr was the launch customer for the H145M, with an order for 15 helicopters in 2013 as part of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Special Operations Forces (SOF) project. The first aircraft was delivered at the end of 2015.
The H145M is the military version of the light twin-engine H145 civil helicopter that was first delivered in 2014. 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 different fields. The helicopter’s ballistic protection and electronic countermeasures offer a high level of security during deployment.
The H145 fleet has now clocked up over 50,000 flight hours. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes, the H145M can be used for transport, supply, surveillance, air rescue, armed reconnaissance and medical evacuation tasks.
Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, the H145M is equipped with full authority digital engine control, Helionix digital avionics suite, flight data management, a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, which considerably reduces pilot workload during missions.
Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters in Germany, said: ‘It is evident that this kind of performance-related support contributes to the system’s high level of availability for troops. This close cooperation between industry and operator has proven its worth in the civil sector and is also becoming increasingly important for military customers. There is still more potential to be realised with the Bundeswehr in this area.’