Airbus has delivered the first two of 16 H225M helicopters to the Hungarian Armed Forces on 24 July 2023. The company supplied the rotorcraft at Szolnok Airbase by Bruno Even, the CEO of Airbus Helicopters.

Airbus claims it will also provide extensive training and a support package to ensure the highest level of operational availability of the new modernised fleet.

Equipped with sophisticated communication capabilities, Hungary will employ the H225M for transport, combat search and rescue, and special operations missions.

Airbus tells us that the platform’s avionics and four axis autopilot, range and payload capacities, alongside a large cabin designed to carry up to 24 troops and powerful air- to-ground and air-to-surface armaments as well as electronic warfare systems enables the helicopter to carry out demanding missions. It also has an all-weather capability supported by its night vision goggle compatibility.

H225M is suitable for a wide range of missions such as tactical troop transport, special operations, SAR, CSAR, maritime surveillance, humanitarian support logistic ground support, medical evacuation and shipborne operations. The ferry flight range is more than 1,200 nautical miles.

A part of Hungary’s H225M fleet will use the HForce weapon management system, adding air support capabilities that creates further communality with the country’s current H145M fleet also equipped with HForce.

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Flight trials have recently occurred in Hungary as part of the integration of a gun pod and rocket launchers on the Hungarian H225M. The helicopter can carry side-firing armaments, such as two 7.62mm general purpose machine guns and a 20mm cannon. It can also use axial pods, such as two 68mm rocket launchers or two 20mm cannons.

H225M helicopters will modernise Hungary’s fleet

“[Hungary’s] Defence Forces are receiving a combat-proven, multi-role platform, which is the latest version of a very successful helicopter family.

“Together with the light twin engine H145M, which is already in operation, Hungary now has a modern helicopter fleet that can fly a broad range of military missions, and we are proud that they decided our helicopters were the right choice for their extremely important operations,” Even stated.

In 2017 the Hungarian Government announced a 10 year modernisation plan, titled the ‘Zrínyi’ programme. This includes key advances for all elements of the country’s armed forces, but has three key features: increasing defence spending, strengthening the country’s defence industry, and most relevant to Airbus’ delivery of the two helicopters, strengthening the capabilities of the armed forces.

Hungary ordered 16 H225M multi-purpose helicopters in 2018, with Airbus providing training and support as part of the contract. The procurement of these rotorcraft is part of Hungarian efforts to modernise its air force.

The 16 H225M rotorcraft will perform a variety of roles alongside Hungary’s utility helicopters: its H145M fleet, of which it has 16 active units. The drive for new multi-role rotorcraft will help to replace the armed force’s enduring Soviet legacy platforms: including 14 Mi-24V units (procured in 1993), 29 Mi-24D (1978), 10 Mi-24V (1987), among others.