Airbus Helicopters has secured a bumper order for 42 H145s from the French Armament General Directorate (on behalf of the Ministry of Interior), with an option for a further 22 aircraft.
The Sécurité Civil (the French rescue and emergency response agency) is set to receive 36 of the aircraft on order, with the remainder due to go to the Gendarmerie Nationale (the national police).
Airbus said the contract was signed at the end of 2023, with deliveries due to begin this year. It includes a complete initial support package for the aircraft.
“We have a long standing relationship with the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Sécurité Civile and I am very proud that we will add another chapter to our shared story,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.
The new aircraft will progressively replace the 33 EC145s the Sécurité Civile currently operates throughout France. The agency also has four five-bladed H145s, which it ordered in 2020 and 2021.
“The H145 has already proven its worth with the Sécurité Civile conducting many rescue missions in the difficult mountainous environment of the French Alps,” said Even.
The six H145s for the Gendarmerie mark the beginning of a fleet renewal for the organization, Airbus said. The Gendarmerie currently flies a fleet that includes AS350s, EC135s and EC145s.
Their new aircraft will be equipped with an electro-optical system and a mission computer, Airbus said.
The news follows Airbus’s announcement of its annual results, in which it revealed the H145 had scored a record year in 2023, with 186 orders.