UK Military Orders 6 Airbus H145 Helicopters
July 20, 2024
Aviation Defence & Security

UK Military Orders 6 Airbus H145 Helicopters

To Be Deployed In Cyprus And Brunei

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered six Airbus H145 helicopters. The procurement, aimed at modernising the rotary fleet and streamlining operations, underscores the UK government’s commitment to optimising resources and enhancing capabilities across various operational domains, ensuring the nation’s security remains at the forefront.

Scheduled for deployment to Cyprus primarily for emergency response duties and to Brunei to bolster UK military training in jungle warfare, these new aircraft are poised to replace the ageing Airbus Pumas currently fulfilling those roles.

The decision to consolidate the fleet by transitioning to the H145 platform reflects a calculated effort to standardise equipment and maximise operational efficiency.

Lauding the MoD’s decision, Lenny Brown, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK, 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.”

Proven Capability

The H145 Jupiter and its counterpart, the H135 Juno, have already proven their mettle in the Military Flying Training System (MFTS), showcasing exceptional reliability and versatility.

As these helicopters transition to their new roles, they are expected to bring these crucial attributes to the forefront, instilling confidence in their seamless integration into various operational environments.

Set to be delivered next year, the new additions to the UK MoD’s fleet will operate alongside 29 H135s and seven existing H145s at the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury.

This consolidation optimises support costs and significantly reduces pilot conversion training time, ensuring a smooth transition for personnel.

The latest iteration of the Airbus H145 incorporates an innovative five-bladed rotor, which enhances the helicopter’s performance and increases its helpful load by 150kg.

Introducing a bearingless main rotor design simplifies maintenance procedures, improves overall serviceability and reliability, and enhances flight comfort for passengers and crew.

With over 1,675 H145 family helicopters worldwide, accumulating more than 7.6 million flight hours, the platform has established itself as a cornerstone of rotary aviation.

Advanced Digital Avionics

Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines and equipped with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system, the H145 boasts advanced Helionix digital avionics, including a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, which enhances safety and reduces pilot workload.

Moreover, the H145’s low acoustic footprint and minimal CO2 emissions further underscore its environmental credentials, positioning it as the quietest and most eco-friendly helicopter in its class.

The UK MoD’s choice to integrate Helionix avionics across various Airbus platforms, including the H135 and H175M, not only generates significant cost savings in pilot training but also demonstrates the government’s commitment to sustainability, a cause that resonates with the public.

As the UK MoD continues to modernise its rotary fleet, acquiring additional Airbus H145 helicopters reaffirms the UK’s commitment to maintaining operational readiness and effectively meeting evolving security challenges on both domestic and international fronts.

Featured image: The latest iteration of the Airbus H145 incorporates an innovative five-bladed rotor. Credit: UK MoD

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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