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UK Ministry of Defence orders more H145 helicopters

Posted on 26 Apr 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 914 times.
UK Ministry of Defence orders more H145 helicoptersThe UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a further six Airbus H145 helicopters as the next step in renewing its rotary fleet and cutting the number of different types in service. The new aircraft will be deployed to Cyprus primarily for emergency response duties and to Brunei to support UK military training in jungle warfare and will replace Airbus Pumas currently performing those roles.

Lenny Brown, managing director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK, said: “We congratulate the MoD on this smart acquisition which simultaneously provides the right-size helicopter for the Cyprus and Brunei requirements, represents excellent value for the UK taxpayer, and is another key step in the rationalisation of types in the transport helicopter fleet.”

“The H145 Jupiter, and its sister H135 Juno, continue to demonstrate exceptional reliability and versatility in the training role in the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) and will bring these crucial attributes to their new tasks.”

The new helicopters will be delivered next year and will serve in parallel with 29 H135s and seven H145s in the Defence Helicopter Flying School which trains all UK military pilots as part of MFTS at RAF Shawbury. The enlarged H145 fleet brings economies of support costs and substantially reduces pilot conversion training time.

The latest version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 adds an innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design eases maintenance operations, improves serviceability and reliability, and enhances flight comfort for both passengers and crew.

Worldwide there are more than 1,675 H145 family helicopters in service, with a total of more than 7.6 million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance four-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class, while its CO2 emissions are the lowest among its competitors.

The Helionix avionics generate significant savings in pilot training due to commonality between different Airbus types including the H135 and H175M.