Eurocopter has signed a €194-million ($252-million) contract with the German Federal Ministry of Defense for 15 EC645 T2 light utility helicopters for the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), part of Germany’s Special Forces Command.
The missions that the helicopters are expected to perform for the special operations command include day/night operations, insertion and extraction of special ops personnel, fire support and reconnaissance. The contract also specifies a mission equipment package including fast rope system, cargo hooks and hoists together with pintle armament and electro-optical sensors. There will also be NATO standard tactical radios and an aircraft self-protection suite.
A version of the EC645 (the military version of the EC145) is currently used as a light utility/logistics helicopter by the U.S. Army (it currently has more than 270 UH-72 Lakotas) while yet another version, the AAS-72X, has been offered to the U.S. Army for its Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) requirement. The Army has continually expressed a need to replace its Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors with a new (or upgraded) aircraft.
The EC645 T2 LUH has a stated maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tons and can be airlifted by an Airbus A400M. Deliveries will begin in late 2015 and should be completed by mid-2017.
Related: Special Ops News