Australian Special Forces request for four-tonne class
By Helicopters Staff
Airbus plans to include its H145 helicopter for a bid on a new rotorcraft program initiated for the Australian Special Forces, after Australia’s government requested information for a four-tonne class, rapidly deployable, multi-role helicopter.
“The Airbus H145M helicopter is the military version of the H145 – the most advanced member of Airbus’ multi-purpose twin-engine category,” said Andrew Mathewson, managing director, Airbus Australia Pacific. “It is based on a commercial off-the-shelf platform with military-specific modifications and is an operationally proven, affordable and low-risk option for Australia.”
Mathewson explains the H145M program and systems are based on approximately five-million hours of flying experience in the H145 family, which has over 1,300 units in service today. “The Airbus Australia Pacific response included selected industry partners and the provision of training, maintenance, logistics and engineering activities,” he added.
In particular, Mathewson pointed to the following strengths of the Airbus H145M:
- Access and cabin space,
- Compact footprint for agility,
- Hot-and-high flight performance,
- Airbus Helionix cockpit, which reduces pilot workload and allows greater situational awareness,
- Full multi-role capability allowing support to missions including aerial assault, aerial fire support, attack, ISTAR, CASEVAC and general utility tasks,
- High availability with reliable and robust systems, as well as a small logistic footprint, and
- High rotor clearance and shrouded Fenestron for operation close to obstacles