The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) have awarded Airbus Helicopters a full-service contract for the new H145M rotorcraft – which is to make its military debut with the German Air Force later this year.
This seven-year comprehensive co-operative support and services agreement will ensure optimal availability, reliability and readiness for the German Air Force’s fleet of 15 H145M helicopters (previously designated the EC645 T2), which are to be used primarily in missions with the country’s Special Forces Command (Kommando Spezialkräfte).
Airbus Helicopters´ responsibility includes e.g. the management and implementation of maintenance and repair activities, material supply and airworthiness. The company will locate a dedicated team at the Laupheim Air Base in Baden-Württemberg, South Germany, creating a close cooperation with the Bundeswehr technicians who will support these helicopters during their missions around the world.
“We are committed to providing high-quality, comprehensive coverage in this first full-service contract for the new H145M,” said Klaus Przemeck, the Head of Airbus Helicopters’ German Military Support Center. “It will build on our track record of successful support for the EC135s used to train its pilots at the German Army Aviation School in Bueckeburg, where the fleet’s operational availability is at over 90 percent.”
The twin-engine multi-role H145M is based on Airbus Helicopters’ enhanced H145 civilian and parapublic rotorcraft (previously designated the EC145 T2). In its military version, depending on customer´s configuration, the helicopter is suited to a wide range of military operations – including transportation, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fire support and evacuations of wounded personnel.
Airbus Helicopters completed the H145M’s on-time certification process this month, enabling further military qualification this summer and the start-up of initial deliveries to the German Armed Forces before year-end as the initial customer for this rotorcraft version.
With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 metric tons, the H145M can be outfitted with mission equipment that includes a pintle-mounted door gun and the ability to carry weapons on external stores; electro optical/infrared sensors with targeting capability; as well as military avionics for communications, navigation and flight management. A rope-down system is available for special operations, and overall survivability is enhanced by the H145M’s ballistic protection, its self-sealing fuel tanks, and electronic warfare self-protection against missile threats.
The H145M benefits from the robustness, low operating costs and high operational availability of Airbus Helicopters’ proven EC145/H145 family, with enhancements including Turbomeca Arriel-2E engines with dual-channel full authority digital engine controls (FADEC), a Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and tail rotor gearboxes.
This rotorcraft’s maximum gross take-off weight has been increased by 50 kg, while its outstanding hover performance – even in one-engine inoperative situations – is crucial for flight safety and mission success, especially during special operations and combat search & rescue duties.