The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINWBw) has ordered seven H145 helicopters to replace the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr) obsolete Bell UH-1D search and rescue fleet.
Airbus Helicopters will also be responsible for logistics support, repair, and maintenance of the helicopters. The aircraft will be delivered in 2020 and will be stationed at the sites in Niederstetten, Holzdorf and Nörvenich, Airbus Helicopters said in a statement Thursday.
According to an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Bundeswehr is also responsible for search and rescue operations in the event of aircraft accidents on German territory. It therefore maintains a fleet of search and rescue helicopters on permanent standby; and these helicopters are also available for use in national disaster management operations. The Bell UH-1D model currently in use by the Bundeswehr first entered into service in the early 1970s.
Among other features, the H145 LUH SAR (Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue) helicopters are equipped with cameras, searchlights, and emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks for example.
The H145M, the military version of the H145, is light twin-engine helicopter that was first delivered to the Bundeswehr in 2015.
At its site in Laupheim, the Bundeswehr operates 15 H145Ms as light support helicopters for special forces. The helicopter pilots of all branches of the armed forces train on the H135, the H145’s ‘little sister’.
Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 are equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload.