Airbus Helicopters H135 as a contender for the U.S. Navy trainer replacement. Photo courtesy of Airbus
Airbus Helicopters said it will offer its H135 as a contender for the U.S. Navy to replace its current fleet of helicopter trainers. A demonstrator of the aircraft in Navy trainer markings is currently on display at the 2018 Naval Helicopter Association Symposium in Norfolk, Virginia.
Airbus' UH-72A Lakota is currently used as the U.S. Army's trainer. The Navy is looking for 105 new helicopters to replace its current fleet of 115 Bell TH-57s currently used for all training, including basic training, hovering maneuvers, night-vision training and cargo lifts.
“As a twin-engine helicopter, the H135 provides a training environment most similar to the Navy’s warfighting rotorcraft fleet, creating opportunities for cost and operational synergies compared to a single engine trainer,” said Airbus Helicopters Inc. President and Head of the North America Region Chris Emerson.
The H135 is fitted with a glass cockpit, a crash-resistant fuel system, energy-absorbing seats, fuselage and landing gear. The airframe is in use for other military pilots in more than 13 countries.
Airbus joins both Bell and Leonardo in offering up an aircraft for the Navy replacement. Bell offered its 407GXi earlier this year and Leonardo offered its TH-119 in 2016.