Airbus Helicopters’ H145M has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness authority, clearing the way for the military type approval and initial two deliveries of the multi-role twin-engine military rotorcraft before the end of the year. The first customer is the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces), who has ordered 15 rotorcraft to be operated by the German Air Force. First deliveries for the second H145M customer, the Royal Thai Navy, will begin in 2016.
Photo by Charles Abarr, courtesy of Airbus Helicopters
The H145M is based on Airbus Helicopters’ enhanced H145 civilian and parapublic rotorcraft (previously designated the EC145 T2). It features Turbomeca Arriel-2E engines with dual-channel full authority digital engine controls (FADEC), a Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, and upgraded main and tail rotor gearboxes. It has an increased maximum take-off weight of 3.7 metric tons.
Optional mission equipment includes a pintle-mounted door gun and the ability to carry weapons on external pylons; electro optical/infrared sensors with targeting capability; and military avionics for communications, navigation and flight management. A rope-down system is available for special operations, and overall survivability is enhanced by the H145M’s crew ballistic protection, its self-sealing fuel tanks, and its electronic warfare self-protection against missile threats.