H145M (earlier known as EC145 T2) is a multi-role twin-engine battlefield support helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters. It is primarily intended for use by military and law enforcement agencies.
The helicopter can be deployed in transportation, special operations, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), search and rescue, fire support, and medical evacuation missions.
The maiden flight of H145M was completed in November 2014 and European EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification was received in May 2015.
H145M orders and deliveries
A contract worth €194m was placed by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) with Airbus Helicopters for the delivery of 15 H145M helicopters to the German Air Force.
Airbus received a contract from Bundeswehr in June 2015 to deliver comprehensive service support for the H145M fleet, which will enter service with the German Air Force to perform operations with Special Forces Command (Kommando Spezialkräfte).
The Royal Thai Navy ordered five H145M helicopters in October 2014. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2016.
Royal Thai Navy H145M at Airbus factory Each helicopter is thoroughly checked during several test flight. (Image © Alexander Lutz) An H145M for the Thai Army awaits its next test flight. (Image © Alexander Lutz) @airheadsfly.comWhile another Thai Army waits to have its rotor blades fitted. (Image © Dennis Spronk) @airheadsfly.comA view of the combined H135/H145 production facility in Donauwörth. (Image © Elmer van Hest) @@airheadsfly.com
Design of the battlefield support helicopter
The H145M is an economical and versatile military helicopter based on the proven EC145 helicopter family.
On the military market, the H145 may appear like the new kid on the block while in fact it is anything but. Disguised as the UH-72A Lakota and as a replacement for the UH-1 Huey, the type has been serving the US Army for years already in training, transport and liaison roles. A staggering 423 Lakotas were ordered by the US.
In its special ops role, the H145M – advertized as a ‘light battlefield support helicopter’ – offers room for up to 10 soldiers in the ballistically protected cabin. The sliding side doors and fast rope systems offer quick exit in hover situations, while the double clamshell doors at the rear can also be used when on the ground.The Fenestron shrouded tail rotor offers protection and safety on the ground. Until now, special forces in Germany relied on the – again – UH-1 Huey. Source @airheadsfly.com
Fast rooping in action. (Image © Airbus Helicopters)
It features an advanced main and tail rotor gearboxes as well as Fenestron shrouded tail rotor for better anti-torque control. The tail rotor is fitted with composite asymmetrical blades that reduce the noise levels.
The H145M can seat up to 11 personnel including crew and troops. The large cabin space accommodates up to 10 troops in a high-density air assault layout, or a fully-equipped force for special operations.
Troops can rapidly ingress / egress through large sliding side doors and the rear clamshell door. The rotorcraft can be fitted with mission equipment kits including a fast rope system, cargo hooks and hoists for transport and utility missions.
The helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 3.7t and can carry a useful load of 1,769kg, whereas its sling load capacity is 1,500kg. It measures 13.6m in length when rotors are in operation and has a width of 2.7m when blades are folded. The height and main rotor diameter of the helicopter are 4m and 11m, respectively.
Cockpit and avionics
The H145M is equipped with a modern digital glass cockpit that integrates Helionix® avionics suite. This cockpit is compatible with night vision goggles (NVG). It houses a head-up display (HUD) and a helmet-mounted sight display (HMSD) with day and night piloting and firing capability.
What sets newer H145s, including the German special ops ones, apart from earlier models is the modulair and impressive Helionix cockpit suite which according to Airbus Helicopters offers pilots the world’s most advanced cockpit – apart from the Airbus A350. In the case of the H145, the suite consists of three large MFDs that can all be adjusted for diplaying either basic flight control instruments, engine parameters, digital maps or a range of other options. Two Garmin GTN 750 GPS/NAV/COMM multifunction displays complete the typical Helionix setup in the H145. The system offers a 4 axis autopilot including Auto-Hover function. Helionix will be integrated in all new or updated products of Airbus such as the new H135 and H160. Source @airheadsfly.com
Packed full of powerful avionics, the GTN 750 is a fully integrated GPS/NAV/COMM solution. The 6-in.-tall system’s intuitive touchscreen controls and large display give you unprecedented access to high-resolution terrain mapping, graphical flight planning, geo-referenced charting, traffic display, satellite weather and much more. Source @steinair.com
Helionix® avionics suite middle of the instrument panel (above) @airbushelicopters.com
Helionix® is a fully integrated system that cuts the amount of required equipment in half, meaning easier maintenance and a significant weight reduction.
The cutting-edge Human-Machine Interface (HMI) displays all flight parameters and flight management data on a single screen. The Part Time Display is a new concept. A summarized version of the flight parameters can be displayed to help the pilot quickly analyze and assess the situation in order to remain fully concentrated on the mission. Source @airbushelicopters.com
Featured on the military helicopter is a mission computer, an infrared / TV electro-optical system, an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) and a laser range-finder / designator / pointer. The four-axis digital autopilot aboard the cockpit reduces crew fatigue.
The MX-10D and MX-15D are part of a package of modernized systems for Airbus’ H225M and H145M helicopters to support anti-submarine warfare, tactical troop transport, search-andrescue, medical evacuation and special operations.
L-3 WESCAM’s targeting systems have been proven in combat and are configured with high-sensitivity multi-spectral sensors for day, low-light and night time missions.
To date, L-3 WESCAM has delivered over 530 of the MX targeting systems for 40 different airborne platforms since the company entered the targeting market in 2005. Source @vanguardcanada.com
H145M weapon systems
The helicopter can be fitted with an incremental modular weapon system to engage conventional and asymmetric threats in the battlefield.
It is compatible with seven- and 12-tube rocket launchers, a 20mm cannon pod, a 12.7mm machine gun pod, and air-to-surface missiles. It can also be configured to carry laser-guided rockets.
FN MAGBrazilian Navy EC145T2 fitted with FN MAG @cdn2.defesaaereanaval.com.brBrowning M3M@s631.photobucket.comFZ laser-guided rocketsFZ laser-guided rocket launcher70mm rocket pod @airbushelicopters.com for unguided rockets
Turkish defense firm Roketsan signs deal with Airbus Helicopters: Link
Cirit series missiles
Survivability of the battlefield support helicopter
The helicopter integrates self-sealing fuel tanks, ballistic protection, infrared (IR) suppressor, and crashworthy seats. The low-profile, crashworthy fuselage and redundant flight systems improve the survivability of the helicopter.
Electronic warfare systems including radar warning receiver, laser warning receiver, missile approach warning system and chaff / flare launchers further improve the endurance in high-threat scenarios.
The H145M is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines equipped with dual-channel full authority digital engine controls (FADEC). Each engine develops a maximum continuous power of 771shp (575kW).
2 x Arriel 2E de Turbomeca @aerobuzz.fr
One of the youngest Arriel family members, the 2E was certified in December 2012 and entered service in August 2014 with the delivery of the first Airbus Helicopters H145. The Arriel 2E offers 20% more power than the 1E2 installed on the EC145. It is capable of a take-off power of 894 shp, a cruising power of 828 shp and a maximum power, via the One Engine Inoperative (OEI) rating, of 1072 shp. Similarly to other Arriel 2+ variants, the 2E features a combination of new and proven technologies. Notably, it features a new axial compressor, a new HP compressor diffuser, new HP turbine blade material and a new-generation, dual-channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) linked to a modernized fuel system. Source @safran-helicopter-engines.com
The helicopter has a fast cruise speed of 244km/h, maximum speed of 250km/h and maximum range of 662km. Its outstanding hover performance allows for operations at altitudes of 2,700m (8,858ft).
Featured image: Out for a test flight is this H145M for the Thai Navy. (Image © Alexander Lutz)
Main material source: airforce-technology.com
H145M Royal Thai Army @helihub.com
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Updated Aug 17, 2016
It seems there are 6 H145M for the Royal Thai Army fitted out with VIP interior and 5 for the Royal Thai Navy for military purpose. In addition to 9 UH-72A Lakota for the Royal Thai Army.