The Government of Spain has signed agreement to procure 36 H135 helicopters, a light and twin-engine rotorcraft from Airbus.

The orders were placed by the Ministries of Defence and Interior of the country.

As agreed, Ministry of Defence will receive 18 H135 helicopters for the air force and the navy while the Ministry of Interior will procure the remaining 18 units to support the operations of the National Police and the Guardia Civil.

The deliveries are slated to start next year.

Currently, the Spanish Army operates a fleet of 16 H135 helicopters. The latest procurement will add the rotorcraft to all branches of the armed forces supporting standardisation of training fleets.

It is also expected to create synergies and support the implementation of new and more efficient training and support activities.

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On the other hand, the rotorcraft will replace Policía and Guardia Civil’s BO105 helicopters. H135s will be used to support law enforcement, surveillance and rescue missions.

Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even said: “We are pleased to sign the largest H135 contract in the history of this programme in Spain, a key partner and one of the largest H135 operators worldwide. I take this opportunity to welcome the Spanish Navy and the Spanish Air Force as new users of this model.

“The H135’s performance, versatility, and flight readiness have been particularly appreciated by Spanish operators.”

Spain’s DGAM Admiral Santiago González said: “Together with the NH90, the H135 will be present in all branches of the Spanish armed forces, as an example of harmonisation and the search for synergies in training and maintenance, as stipulated by our Helicopter Master Plan.”

The H135 helicopters are used by 300 operators in 64 countries.

Separately, Indra has secured an €80m contract to equip Spanish Air Force’s 20 new Eurofighters with new avionics and sensor systems. The company will receive an additional €100m for fleet maintenance over the next five years.