Airbus
Airbus H145M twin-engine light helicopter.

Airbus Draws $2.3B Order for Light Helicopters

Dec. 15, 2023
The German Defense Ministry is acquiring 62 H145M helicopters for army and special forces use, a for $2.3-billion program with deliveries beginning in 2024.

Airbus Helicopters has drawn its largest-ever order for the H145M helicopter from the German Defense Ministry, a $2.3-billion (€2.1 billion) contract for 62 of the twin-engine helicopters. Deliveries will start in 2024, according to Airbus, and the order includes options for 20 more of the same aircraft.

The H145M is a light utility helicopter configurable for civilian or defense applications, capable of delivering personnel and materials; for reconnaissance or surveillance; supporting friendly forces in combat; as well as deploying firepower to opposition forces.

Of the new order, 57 helicopters will be supplied to the German Army and five will be provided to the German Air Force special forces.

The H145M helicopters to be supplied to Germany will include options for future mission capabilities, including integrated Manned-Unmanned Teaming, data links, and communication systems.

According to independent reports, some of the helicopters will be fitted with the Spike LR guided anti-tank missile package, anticipating future mission tactics informed by armored combat in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The H134M helicopters are powered by Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, with FADEC digital engine control (FADEC). Each aircraft also includes a Helionix digital avionics suite that provides flight data management and four-axis autopilot, which reduces pilot workload, according to Airbus.

The helicopters are reconfigurable from a light attack aircraft with axial ballistic and guided weapons and advanced self-defense capabilities, into a special operations version that has fast rappelling equipment. Airbus’ comprehensive mission packages include hoisting and external cargo capabilities.

The basic package to be supplied with the H145Ms will include the HForce weapon management system, developed by Airbus Helicopters.

“We are proud that the Bundeswehr (Defense Ministry) has decided to order up to 82 H145M helicopters”, stated CEO Bruno Even, 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.”

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