December 14, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
The German Bundeswehr signed a contract for the purchase of up to 82 multi-role H145M helicopters, consisting of 62 firm orders plus 20 options. This is the largest order ever placed for the H145M and consequently the largest for the HForce weapon management system.
The contract also includes seven years of support and services. The German Army will receive 75 helicopters, while the Luftwaffe’s special forces will receive five.
“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,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “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.”
Airbus explains, that within minutes, the H145M can be reconfigured from a light attack role with axial ballistic and guided weapons and a state-of-the-art self-protection system into a special operations version, including fast rappelling equipment. The mission packages for the helicopter include hoisting and external cargo capabilities. Additionally, the new German H145M includes options for future mission capabilities including the ability to operate with the integration of Manned-Unmanned Teaming and upgraded data links and communication systems.
The basic version of the ordered H145Ms will be equipped with fixed provisions, including the weapon management system, HForce. Airbus explains this allows the Bundeswehr to train its pilots on the same type of helicopter that is used for operation and combat, eliminating costly type transfers.
The H145M is the military version of the light twin-engine H145 helicopter, which has now accumulated more than seven million flight hours on the global fleet. The Bundeswehr already operates 16 H145M LUH SOF and eight H145 LUH SAR helicopters. The U.S. Army employs almost 500 helicopters from the H145 family under the name of UH-72 Lakota. Current operators of the H145M are Hungary, Serbia, Thailand and Luxembourg. Cyprus has ordered six aircraft.