April 27, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
Airbus Helicopters is introducing the first U.S.-built H125 military configurations, known as AH-125 and MH-125 Ares, to the Airbus range of military helicopters. The aircraft maker explains these combat-capable aircraft will feature militarized options that meet the needs of military and parapublic allies and partners around the world.
The AH-125 Ares will be configured as the armed variant of the helicopter, while the MH-125 Ares will be configured as a multi-role helicopter capable of a range of operations. The new offerings complement the extensive line of military helicopters already produced by Airbus, including the H125M.
“The AH-125 and MH-125 Ares helicopters will offer the capability, reliability and flexibility needed by America’s allies and partners as they perform an array of rotary wing missions, ranging from light attack to disaster response and other parapublic missions,” said Scott Tumpak, Vice President of Military Line of Business for Airbus U.S. Space and Defense. “They represent the latest evolution of Airbus’ H125 family of helicopters, and will be produced in the U.S. at Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s facility in Columbus, Mississippi.”
Globally, the H125 family accounts for almost 80 per cent of the single-engine market, according to Airbus, and has the highest number of certified modifications (supplemental type certificates) available. With the new addition of a flexible weapons capability, the H125 helicopter can be re-configured between multiple mission sets in less than 30 minutes, explains Airbus, ranging between light attack, air assault, search and rescue, casualty evacuation, and disaster response, as well as other combat and parapublic operations.
MAG Aerospace will perform the weapons installation design, engineering, certification and manufacturing. The helicopter will accommodate a range of weapons such as a .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun and unguided rockets, and precision-guided weapons as a growth option. The installation allows for doors-on flight throughout the mission.
“MAG Aerospace is thrilled to team with Airbus to combine our unique platform engineering and modification capabilities with the world-class leader in the single-engine helicopter market. It’s an honour to work with Airbus and expand our ability to serve our partners in the U.S. and around the world,” said Matt Bartlett, President of MAG Aerospace.
Currently, the H125 is the light enforcement helicopter used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with more than 100 H125 family aircraft in service, making the U.S. government the single largest customer and operator of the aircraft.