An Airbus H-145M SAR helicopter
The German armed forces, or Bundeswehr, has ordered seven Airbus H145M search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopters to replace its "obsolete" SAR fleet of Bell UH-1Ds, which entered service in the 1970s, Airbus said Dec. 13.
Airbus, which is to be responsible for logistics support, repair, and maintenance of the H145s, is to deliver the rotorcraft in 2020.
Wolfgang Schoder, Airbus' executive vice president for light helicopters and governmental programs, said in a statement that the seven H145Ms "will further standardize the Bundeswehr’s fleet of light helicopters."
Schoder also held out the possibility of additional sales of H145Ms to the Bundeswehr. The M is the military version of the H145.
“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,” Schoder said.
First delivered to the Bundeswehr in 2015, the H145M has a mission readiness rate of more than 95 percent, Airbus said. Serbia, Hungary, Thailand and Luxembourg have also ordered the helicopter since 2015, Airbus said.
Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145M SAR helicopters are equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC), the Helionix digital avionics suite, a 4-axis autopilot, high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for carrying mission equipment, such as fire-extinguishing tanks.