The French Air Force is set to receive an additional H225M long-range tactical transport military helicopter from Airbus.

The order was received from the French Defence Procurement Agency, DGA. The H225M will join the French Air Force’s existing fleet of ten H225M helicopters.

The aircraft will be deployed in support of special forces and search and rescue missions.

Airbus will deliver the H225M in a configuration that enables interoperability with the airforce’s existing fleet.

To be based in Cazaux, the twin-engine aircraft will be able to offer an inflight refuelling capability.

Airbus Helicopters vice-president and France Governmental Affairs head Alexandra Cros said: “We are very proud that the French Air Force is renewing its trust in the reliable multirole H225M, having been the first to deploy the type in an operational theatre in 2006.

“The H225M is a real military asset thanks to its versatility and its excellent range. Operational from ships and land with an all-weather capability and take off in less than five minutes, it’s always ready for assignment.”

The company has to date obtained more than 180 orders for the H225M and delivered 97.

The 11t, combat-proven, H225M helicopter is a member of Airbus’ military Super Puma / Cougar family.

“The H225M is a real military asset thanks to its versatility and its excellent range.”

Countries operating the military aircraft include France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

In January, the Indonesian Air Force placed a follow-on order for the acquisition of an additional eight aircraft.

Other countries that have placed orders for the delivery of the helicopter include Kuwait, Singapore, and Hungary.

The H225M has the ability to operate both from ships and land in all weather conditions.

With an operational range of 700nm, the helicopter can be used in a range of missions, including tactical transport and casualty / medical evacuation.