The German Bundeswehr has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters to buy up to 82 H145M multi-role helicopters, which includes 62 confirmed orders and 20 options. This is the biggest order ever placed for the H145M and the largest for the HForce weapon management system.
The contract will see the German Army receive 57 helicopters, while the Luftwaffe’s special forces will receive five and also includes seven years of support and services to ensure optimal performance.
The H145M is a versatile aircraft that can perform a wide range of missions. It can be quickly reconfigured from a light attack role with both unguided and guided weapons and advanced self-protection features, to a special operations version equipped with fast rappelling gear. The helicopter can also be used for hoisting and carrying external cargo. The updated German version of H145M includes options for future mission capabilities such as the ability to operate with the integration of Manned-Unmanned Teaming and upgraded data links and communication systems.
The standard model of the H145Ms that have been ordered will contain permanent provisions, which will include the HForce weapon management system developed by Airbus Helicopters. This feature will enable the Bundeswehr to train its pilots on the same type of helicopter that is used in operations and combat, eliminating the need for expensive type transfers and achieving the highest level of professionalism.
The military version of the reliable and efficient light twin-engine helicopter called H145 is known as H145M. The H145 family worldwide has accumulated more than seven million flight hours and is used for demanding missions by armed and law enforcement forces. The Bundeswehr has currently 16 H145M LUH SOF and 8 H145 LUH SAR helicopters in operation. The US Army alone operates nearly 500 helicopters from the H145 family, under the name UH-72 Lakota. The H145M is currently being used by Hungary, Serbia, Thailand, and Luxembourg, while Cyprus has already ordered six of these helicopters.
The H145M helicopter is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines and comes equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). It also includes the Helionix digital avionics suite, which provides innovative flight data management and features a high-performance 4-axis autopilot that significantly reduces pilot workload during missions. Moreover, this helicopter is known for its low acoustic footprint, making it the quietest helicopter in its class.