The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) is set to receive seven new H145 search-and-rescue helicopters from Airbus.
The H145 helicopters will replace Bundeswehr’s existing and outdated fleet of Bell UH-1D search and rescue.
Airbus Helicopters light helicopters and governmental programmes executive vice-president Wolfgang Schoder said: “We’re proud to have received another order for our H145 family from the Bundeswehr. This will further standardise the Bundeswehr’s fleet of light helicopters.
“The helicopters already operated by the Bundeswehr have proven themselves in particular through their very high levels of operational availability, and we see a lot more possibilities for the flexible and reliable H145 family to perform a wide range of tasks in all branches of the armed forces.”
Based at sites in Niederstetten, Holzdorf and Nörvenich, the helicopters will also be deployed by the armed forces to perform national disaster management operations.
Airbus Helicopters expects the aircraft delivery to take place in 2020. The company will also provide logistics support, repair, and maintenance for H145 fleet.
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In 2015, the German Armed Forces received its first H145 M military multirole helicopter. The combat-proven light twin-engine helicopter has also been ordered by Serbia, Hungary, Thailand, and Luxembourg.
The H145 is fitted with two Safran Arriel 2E engines, full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite.
Fifteen H145Ms are operated by Bundeswehr as light support helicopters for special forces at its site in Laupheim.
In a separate development, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed a contract with Airbus to extend the operation of the Heron 1 drones.
The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) built Heron TP UAS has been designed to replace the Heron 1 unmanned aircraft, which are currently deployed by the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Mali.
The Heron TP drone is fully operational with the Israeli Air Force.