Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first civil-standard H145 for use by the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) for search and rescue (SAR) duties.
The aircraft – c/n 20274, with temporary German civil registration D-HADL – was handed over to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) several months before the delivery deadline. Once in service it will receive the military serial 77+07.
The Bundeswehr ordered seven H145s from Airbus Helicopters to replace its ageing fleet of Bell UH-1D Iroquois (or ‘Huey’) helicopters, which have been in German service, employed in a SAR role, since the early 1970s.
Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Deutschland, said: “The H145 helicopters already operated by the Bundeswehr have proven themselves, in particular, through their very high levels of operational availability. We see a lot more possibilities for the flexible and reliable aircraft to perform a wide range of tasks in all branches of the armed forces.”
In German service, these civil-standard H145s will be on permanent standby, providing SAR operations in the event of aircraft accidents in German territory. The aircraft will be based at Niederstetten, Holzdorf and Nörvenich. Airbus Helicopters will be responsible for the aircraft’s logistics support, maintenance and repair. The official German designation of the platform is the H145 Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue (LUH SAR).
The H145s are equipped with high-performance cameras, emergency beacon locator systems, a full medical equipment suite, winches, load hooks and searchlights.
Airbus Helicopters has stated that the final H145 will be delivered to the Bundeswehr in early 2021 and by then, training on the type will have concluded.