The German Bundeswehr and Airbus Helicopters have signed a contract for the purchase of up to 82 multi-role H145M helicopters (62 firm orders plus 20 options). This is the largest order ever placed for the H145M and consequently the largest for the HForce weapon management system. The contract also includes seven years of support and services, ensuring optimal entry into service. The German Army will receive fifty-seven helicopters, while the Luftwaffe's special forces will receive five.
“We are proud that the Bundeswehr has decided to order up to 82 H145M helicopters”, said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H145M is a robust multi-role helicopter and the German Air Force has gained a significant amount of operational experience with its H145M LUH Special Operations Forces fleet. We will ensure that the Bundeswehr receives the helicopters in accordance with the very ambitious delivery schedule which includes first deliveries in 2024 less than a year after contract signature.”
The H145M is a multi-role military helicopter that provides a broad range of mission capabilities. Within minutes, the helicopter can be reconfigured from a light attack role with axial ballistic and guided weapons and a state-of-the-art self-protection system into a special operations version including fast rappelling equipment. The comprehensive mission packages include hoisting and external cargo capabilities. Additionally, the new German H145M includes options for future mission capabilities including the ability to operate with the integration of Manned-Unmanned Teaming and upgraded data links and communication systems.
The basic version of the ordered H145Ms will be equipped with fixed provisions, including the weapon management system, HForce, developed by Airbus Helicopters. This allows the Bundeswehr to train its pilots on the same type of helicopter that is used for operation and combat. Costly type transfers are eliminated and the highest level of professionalisation will be achieved.
The H145M is the military version of the tried-and-tested, light twin-engine H145 helicopter. The global fleet of the H145 family has now accumulated more than seven million flight hours. It is used by armed and law enforcement forces around the world for the most demanding missions. The Bundeswehr already operates 16 H145M LUH SOF and 8 H145 LUH SAR helicopters. The US Army employs almost 500 helicopters from the H145 family under the name of UH-72 Lakota. Current operators of the H145M are Hungary, Serbia, Thailand and Luxembourg; Cyprus has ordered six aircraft.
Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, the H145M is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). In addition, the helicopter is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite which, alongside innovative flight data management, includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, which considerably reduces pilot workload during missions. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145M the quietest helicopter in its class.