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The German Bundeswehr has signed an order for up to 82 Airbus H145Ms. Airbus/Cara Irina Wagner Photo

German Bundeswehr orders 82 Airbus H145Ms

By Oliver Johnson | December 14, 2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 58 seconds.

The German Bundeswehr has signed an order for up to 82 Airbus H145Ms. Airbus/Cara Irina Wagner Photo
The German Bundeswehr has signed an order for up to 82 Airbus H145Ms. Airbus/Cara Irina Wagner Photo

The German Bundeswehr has placed an order for up to 82 Airbus Helicopters H145Ms, representing the largest ever order for the military version of the type.

The contract is for 62 firm orders plus 20 options, and also includes seven years of support and services, spare parts, eight simulators, and training for pilots and maintenance personnel.

The aircraft will be used in a light attack helicopter role as part of a bridge solution to replace the German Army’s fleet of Tigers.

The German Army will receive 57 of the new aircraft, with the remainder going to the Luftwaffe’s special forces.

The order was placed following approval of the procurement from the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag on Dec. 13, and will be financed from a €100 billion “special fund” the country has set aside for the modernization of its military.

“We are proud that the Bundeswehr has decided to order up to 82 H145M helicopters,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, in a press release announcing the news. “The German Air Force has gained a significant amount of operational experience with its H145M LUH Special Operations Forces fleet.”

Even referenced the “very ambitious delivery schedule” that calls for first deliveries in 2024, with the last aircraft set to be received in 2028,

The multi-role H145M is designed to meet a broad range of mission capabilities, with the ability to be quickly reconfigured from a light attack role (with axial ballistic and guided weapons and self protection systems), into a special operations version that includes fast rappelling equipment.

Airbus said the new German H145M includes options for future mission capabilities, including the ability to operate with the integration of manned-unmanned teaming and upgraded data links and communication systems.

The basic version of the aircraft will be equipped with fixed provisions, including Airbus’s HForce weapon management system. Airbus said this will allow the Bundeswehr to train its pilots on the same type of aircraft that is used for operation and combat.

The aircraft will be based at the International Helicopter Training Center in Bückeburg, at Army bases in Niederstetten, Fritzlar and Faßberg, and with the Air Force in Laupheim.

The Bundeswehr already operates 16 H145M LUH special operations and eight H145 LUH search-and-rescue helicopters. The U.S. Army employs almost 500 helicopters from the H145 family — the UH-72 Lakota. Other operators of the H145M include Hungary, Serbia, Thailand and Luxembourg. Cyprus has ordered six aircraft.

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