Airbus Helicopters, June 08, 2020 - With Hungary recently receiving three additional H145Ms in May 2020, this light-attack, four-tonne helicopter seems poised for action this year.
Since its launch, with 15 H145Ms to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) from 2015 onwards, the helicopter’s customer base has grown to include Luxembourg with two aircraft, Serbia with nine, the Thai Navy with five and Hungary with 20 aircraft.
First deliveries followed in quick succession. At the Partner Defence Exhibition in June 2019, Serbia received its first H145M, to be operated by the Air Force and the Ministry of Interior.
In November, the first of two aircraft for defence and security missions were delivered to the Government of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.
Later in the month, two H145Ms were delivered to the Hungarian Defence Forces, while in December the German Bundeswehr received the first out of seven H145s in Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue configuration (LUH SAR), which carries high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks.
“Operating an H145M is much easier than operating the models having been in service in Hungary so far, because it is fully digital, and computer-controlled.”, said Lieutenant-colonel Zsolt Simon, Chief of Flight Training Department and acting deputy commander of the HDF 86th Szolnok Helicopter Base (Hungary)
Following this spate of deliveries, the H145M is coming into its own in 2020, generating positive reviews. Hungarian Defence Forces pilots have flown some 200 hours of conversion training in the new aircraft, whose digital, computer-managed cockpit creates a modern and efficient environment.
They also noted a different, more digital approach to the H145M’s maintenance, commenting on a time savings when inspecting the aircraft and prepping it for flights. “It is much easier and more modern to operate these helicopters than the old ones. Even the physical job takes much shorter time when, for example, the helicopters need to be prepared, detected for defaults or when following an error process,” said Maj. Tamás Bagi, commander of the H145M maintenance squadron.
Further, the German Bundeswehr’s training of Nigerian special forces soldiers in the Sahel region of the Sahara, which has taken place since 2020, marked the first time the Bundeswehr used the new H145M LUH SOF (Special Operations Forces) version to train Nigerian paratroopers, a demonstration of its rapidly expanding portfolio of missions.