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Defence

UK MoD orders more H145s

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a further six Airbus H145 helicopters, which 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.

Above: H145 Jupiter HT1 at RAF Shawbury.
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Airbus Helicopters in the UK Managing Director Lenny Brown said: “We congratulate the MoD on this smart acquisition which simultaneously provides the right-sized 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.

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The latest version of the H145 adds an innovative five-bladed rotor to the multimission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design eases maintenance operations, improves serviceability and reliability and enhances flight comfort.

The expansion of the UK Defence’s existing Airbus H145 helicopter fleet also provides efficiency and effectiveness opportunities in terms of greater commonality from a training and support perspective across UK Defence.

In addition, as a commercial off-the-shelf procurement, the use of the Airbus H145 avoids a bespoke UK solution, providing economies of scale with an existing large worldwide fleet, demonstrating the MoD’s commitment to the principles outlined in the Defence Acquisition Reform recently announced by  Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge, who said: “Reforming defence acquisition to make every pound count and rapidly provide our Armed Forces with critical military capabilities is essential to our nation’s security.

“As I announced at the International Military Helicopters conference, purchasing the H145s will support our forces in Brunei and on Cyprus with a trusted capability whilst avoiding unnecessary over-speccing, and overspending.”

Image courtesy DE&S

Director Helicopters at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), Keith Bethell, said: “I am immensely proud of the work done by the Multi Helicopter Platform Delivery Team along with Army Capability and Airbus Helicopters UK in securing contract award for the purchase of six Airbus H145 platforms to provide aviation support to British Forces in Brunei and on Cyprus.

“This contract is a great example of an agile acquisition process that has secured new modern equipment to meet our Armed Forces enduring requirements, such as Jungle Training in Brunei and a wide range of aviation services to British Forces based on Cyprus.”

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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.

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