Germany to Buy Airbus H145M Helicopter and Convert for Light Attack Helicopters


Germany’s Defence Ministry wants to buy 82 H-145M military helicopters and convert some of them into combat helicopters to replace its Tiger attack helicopter fleet. The Airbus Helicopters H145M is a twin-engine light utility helicopter developed and manufactured by Airbus Helicopters.

The news agency Reuters reported that the Germany Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) which has been reluctant to buy into an upgrade of Airbus’s Tiger attack helicopter due to operational problems, wants to buy the 82 aircraft for 3.05 billion euros ($3.3 billion) and arm 24 of them with anti-tank missiles. Germany last year shifted its defence policy after Russia invaded Ukraine, committing 100 billion euros ($107 billion) to modernize the Germany Armed Forces.

The Airbus Helicopters H145M is a militarized version of the H145; briefly designated as EC645 T2. It can be outfitted with ballistic protection, self-sealing fuel tanks, electro optical/infrared sensor, retractable pintle-mounted 7.62mm FN MAG machine guns or M134 miniguns, military-grade communications and navigational systems and an electronic ωαяfare self-protection system. 

The H145M’s HForce ωєαρσи system can precisely aim 12,7 mm and 20 mm gun pods and 70 mm guided and unguided rockets. Anti-armor capability will be provided by integrating SPIKE ER2 missile to the helicopter’s armament. Considered as the reference in its civil version for law enforcement organisations and military services, the H145 is in service with the US Army, which operate its UH-72A Lakota version. The H145M’s power, range, endurance and payload capability provide a variety of deployment possibilities, especially when operating in sand and dust and in high and hot conditions at altitudes of 6,000 feet and temperatures of 95°F/35°C. 

A key feature of the H145M is the wide range of available optional mission equipment packages that can be rapidly installed and removed, based on the requirements of the mission. Within minutes, the aircraft can be reconfigured from troop transport with seats to a search and rescue mission with rescue hoist and stretchers, or to an armed helicopter with a set of ωєαρσиs and ballistic protection. Mission readiness of the H145M is furthered by the rotorcraft’s two Safran Arriel 2E engines and an upgraded transmission.

In July 2013, Germany purchased 15 EC145s for the German Army to be used for special operations (KSK) designated EC645 T2. The EC645 T2 is armed with ωєαρσи mounts, fitted with electronic countermeasures system, ballistic protection, electro-optical system, fast rope system, cargo hooks and hoists. In 2017, Airbus Helicopters has delivered the 15th and final H145M multi-role helicopter to the German Armed Forces. The helicopters, stationed in Laupheim, are operated by the special forces. In 2022 Airbus has successfully performed the first firing demonstration of a Rafael Spike ER2 anti-tank guided missile from an H145M medium helicopter. Among those in attendance were delegations from Germany. This next step is to integrate the Spike anti-tank missile to meet the requirements of defence agencies seeking light attack helicopter.
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