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First H125 orders in Lithuania


Madrid, Airbus Helicopters and Lithuanian operator ASU BALTIJA have announced a contract for two H125s at European Rotors 2023. They are the first Airbus helicopters sold to a commercial operator in the country, and will also be the first two H125 family helicopters deployed in Lithuania. The H125s replace helicopters manufactured in Russia and will be used for passenger transport and utility missions in Lithuania and other markets abroad.


ASU Baltija has a lot of experience working with Airbus Helicopters providing logistic support for the Lithuanian Air Force’s AS365N3+ fleet. Close cooperation and productive teaming between Airbus and ASU Baltija achieved a fleet availability of more than 96%.


”The procurement of the H125 opens a new page in the history of ASU Baltija as we step away from helicopters manufactured in Russia and look forward to flying the H125, a helicopter that is the benchmark in the industry and is perfectly suited to perform our new commercial activities,” highlighted Linas Elijosius, CEO of ASU Baltija JSC.


"Even though the H125 is the best selling helicopter in its class, it is always a very special moment when we welcome a new customer. We are grateful for our long-term partner, ASU BALTIJA’s trust and excited to enter the commercial market with them for the first time in Lithuania,” said Thomas Zeman, Head of Sales Eastern Europe and CIS at Airbus Helicopters. "With the performance level of the H125, we are confident that ASU BALTIJA has chosen the right product for the development of their commercial services and we look forward to many more to come."


 

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ADAC HEMS Academy and Airbus Helicopters plan to establish HMotion, a new simulation training centre for H135 and H145 helicopters


Madrid - During European Rotors, Airbus Helicopters and ADAC HEMS Academy announced the establishment of the joint venture HMotion, a new simulator training centre for the H135 and H145 family helicopters. HMotion will offer a wide range of cost-effective training courses for helicopter personnel, including mission and critical flight training. Subject to approval by the relevant regulatory authorities, it is expected to be operational in early 2024.


"With the creation of HMotion, we will further enhance the training capabilities for our H135 and H145 customers," said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. "We will combine the best of two worlds: the data and knowledge of Airbus as the helicopter manufacturer with the experience of ADAC Luftrettung, a world-renowned helicopter operator.”


"The collaboration between our two companies will create the world's most modern simulator training centre for H135 and H145 helicopters,"
said Frédéric Bruder, Managing Director of ADAC Luftrettung, which ADAC HEMS Academy belongs to.


As a first step, HMotion will integrate the full-flight simulators located at the Airbus Helicopters site in Donauwörth and at the ADAC HEMS Academy in Sankt Augustin near Bonn. In a second step, in 2025, all simulator activities will be transferred to a new state-of-the-art training centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich, which is easily accessible for international customers with Munich International Airport close by.


Airbus Helicopters’ training and flight operations’ goal is to design and provide innovative solutions to support its customers – which is key to enhancing operational safety. Efficient helicopter operations are directly linked to the proficiency of pilots, flight crew and technicians, as well as their ability to safely operate and maintain rotorcraft during a full range of conditions and missions.


The ADAC HEMS Academy is setting up a new, state-of-the-art location in Oberpfaffenhofen for the training and further education of helicopter pilots and medical crews. Here, at the future headquarters of HMotion, the best conditions will be created for personnel development (in helicopter flight operations and emergency and acute medical administration), with even more opportunities for qualified safety and team training in theory and practice.


 

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ÖAMTC Air Rescue continues fleet modernisation with two Airbus H135 helicopters

Madrid
-Airbus Helicopters and ÖAMTC Air Rescue announced a new contract for two H135s during the third edition of European Rotors. The announcement follows an initial contract for five H135s signed at the end of 2020.


“It's a matter of course for us to constantly develop and improve our fleet so that we can provide our patients with comprehensive care at the highest possible level of quality and safety," said Marco Trefanitz, CEO of ÖAMTC Air Rescue. "The H135 with Helionix is perfectly tailored to our needs and proves itself day after day and night after night in operations throughout Austria. The significantly more powerful helicopter, which is certified for instrument flight and has an autopilot, brings us a decisive step closer to our vision of being able to help anywhere, at any time and in any weather.”


"We are proud to have been a partner of ÖAMTC Air Rescue for more than 40 years with our helicopters and services,"
said Thomas Hein, Head of Europe Region at Airbus Helicopters. "I would like to thank ÖAMTC Air Rescue for their continued confidence in our H135 helicopters. We're looking forward to many more years of successful cooperation.”


ÖAMTC Air Rescue operates 31 H135 helicopters from 17 permanent bases and 4 additional winter bases in Austria. Last year, the operator flew more than 20,000 missions, with an average of 52 missions per day. The operator began providing air rescue services in Austria in 1983 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.


The H135 is the helicopter of reference for helicopter emergency medical service operators worldwide. It combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity, as well as low sound levels. The oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor. The H135 is the global market leader for helicopter emergency medical services with more than 700 helicopters all around the world being used for life-saving missions.


Airbus’ light, twin-engine H135 incorporates the most advanced technologies available, including Airbus Helicopters' Helionix avionics suite, which, in addition to the 4-axis autopilot, offers an innovative cockpit layout to enhance situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays, the H135’s cockpit is night vision goggle compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator, which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.


 

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Lithuanian State Border Guard Service orders three H145s


Madrid -Airbus Helicopters and the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service have announced a contract for three five-bladed H145 multi-mission helicopters at the 2023 European Rotors trade show, expanding the service's fleet. These three additional H145s bring the total number of Airbus helicopters in service with the Lithuanian government to eleven, further strengthening Airbus Helicopters’ position in this mission segment. The helicopters will be operated for a wide range of missions including search and rescue, disaster relief and medevac, border patrol, firefighting, transport of donor organs, and operational deployment of the Lithuanian Special Forces.


“We are allocating significant resources to provide our State Border Guard Service with state-of-the-art equipment such as the multi-mission H145 helicopters,” said Agné Bilotaité, the Lithuanian Minister of Interior. “Funded in part by the national budget and also thanks to European funding, the H145s will further strengthen the intelligence and response capabilities of our border guards and contribute to Lithuania’s security,” she added.


“We are honoured that the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service is placing its trust in Airbus Helicopters once again with the selection of the H145 as its next generation multi-role helicopter,” said Olivier Michalon, Executive Vice President Global Business for Airbus Helicopters. “Our partnership started in 2002 when the Lithuanian State Border Guard received their first EC120. Twenty-one years later, it is a privilege to support such a distinguished organisation and to contribute to essential security missions in order to protect and serve the population of Lithuania and to make Europe safer," he added.


There are more than 200 helicopters of the H145 helicopter family deployed to public services and law enforcement missions all around the world.


The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.


In total, there are more than 1,650 H145 family helicopters in service, logging a total of more than 7.5 million flight hours. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class, while its CO2 emissions are the lowest amongst its competitors.


 

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Airbus and Norwegian Air Ambulance sign for H135 and H145 helicopters for HEMS in Denmark


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Madrid - The Norwegian Air Ambulance has ordered three H135s and two five-bladed H145s that will be used for life-saving missions in Denmark, following a tender the operator recently won in the country. Moreover, the HEMS operator will take delivery of two new H145s in 2024 to expand their fleet in Norway.


“I would like to thank the Norwegian Air Ambulance for its continued trust in our helicopters to support their essential life-saving missions,”
said Thomas Hein, Head of Europe Region, Airbus Helicopters. “Our mission is to provide our operators with the best solutions possible, in order to make the world a safer place. Representing more than 1100 of the 2700 helicopters deployed for HEMS operations across the globe, it is a genuine source of pride to see that the H135 and the H145 are the benchmark for those missions worldwide, making a positive difference to people requiring urgent medical care. ”


“The H135 and the five-bladed H145 have proven to be very versatile and suitable helicopters for our HEMS operations,”
said Leif Olstad, CEO of Norwegian Air Ambulance. “With the new helicopters we will continue to serve the people of Denmark and Norway with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the best service possible.”


Today, Norwegian Air Ambulance operates all 13 HEMS bases in Norway and all 4 bases in Denmark using a 100% Helionix-equipped fleet of H135s and H145s. The organisation's parent company, the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation, was the first operator in the world to take delivery of a five-bladed H145 in 2020.


 

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Airbus signs contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence for the acquisition of SIRTAP UAS


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Getafe, 29 November 2023 – Airbus has signed a contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence for the development and acquisition of SIRTAP, a High Performance Tactical UAS that will reinforce the tactical capabilities of the Spanish Army and the Air and Space Force.


This contract includes a total of nine systems, each consisting of three unmanned aerial vehicles and one ground control station. Furthermore, two simulators will be supplied to train the Spanish Armed Forces.


“This new technological milestone in the tactical UAS segment together with the Spanish Ministry of Defence, will reinforce national sovereignty. SIRTAP will be fully developed in Spain, integrating national capabilities. However, thanks to its versatility and the use of ITAR-free components, we also expect it to play a key role on the international market,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Military Air Systems at Airbus Defence and Space.


SIRTAP, with a payload of more than 150kgs, has been designed for advanced surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance missions, both over land and at sea. A range of more than 2,000km and an endurance of more than 20 hours will provide high flexibility and reactivity, allowing for day and night operations in the most demanding environments. The system will be certified to fly in segregated airspace.


In the future, this tactical UAS will be able to operate jointly with other platforms to be integrated into a system of systems. The development of SIRTAP will bring the national industry key experience and competences in the field of Remote Carriers for FCAS.


First flight of the SIRTAP prototype is expected to take place in 2025.


 

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Airbus to make Eurofighter fit for electronic combat


Munich, 29 November 2023 – Now it's official: The Eurofighter EK (Electronic Combat) is coming. Following the recent parliamentary approval by the German budget committee, Airbus will equip 15 German Eurofighters for electronic combat - and equip them with a transmitter location and self-protection system from Saab, as well as "AARGM" anti-radar missiles from the American company Northrop Grumman. The Eurofighter EK is to be NATO-certified by 2030 and will then replace the Tornado in the SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defence) role.


"Electronic warfare and reconnaissance are an important NATO requirement: current conflicts and the present security situation show how important the two capabilities are," says Airbus Defence and Space CEO Michael Schöllhorn. "In this respect, the German government's decision to include such an important capability as electronic warfare in the Eurofighter capability portfolio is an important measure. EK will add this important capability to the already broad operational spectrum of the Eurofighter while strengthening European sovereignty and autonomy."


With the parliamentary approval by the Budget Committee, the Eurofighter is now officially set as the successor to the Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance). Airbus is now looking forward to the official order to integrate the selected technical solutions into the Eurofighter. The corresponding contract between Eurofighter GmbH, as prime contractor, and NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) is expected to be signed before the end of the year.


With Saab’s transmitter location system and the Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) from Northrop Grumman, the Eurofighter EK will be able to detect, localise and disable anti-aircraft radars. In addition, the Saab solution has jammers that improve the Eurofighter's self-protection. The Eurofighter EK also has technologies on board that were developed by small and medium-sized enterprises and a start-up. These include an AI solution that makes it possible to analyse radar data on-board and quickly determine precise self-protection measures.


Airbus is currently working with the BAAINBw procurement office, the German Air Force and the Bundeswehr Aviation Office on a detailed schedule for the implementation of the selected EK solutions in 15 Eurofighters.


 

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German Navy NH90 Sea Tiger performs maiden flight


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Donauwörth – The first NH90 Sea Tiger took off on-schedule for its maiden flight, at Airbus Helicopters' site in Donauwörth, Germany. The German Bundeswehr ordered 31 NH90 Sea Tiger multi-role frigate helicopters for the German Navy’s shipborne operations in 2020.


Airbus Helicopters is now entering a qualification phase that will focus on flight testing the helicopter and new systems to be installed on board the NH90 Sea Tiger. Deliveries are scheduled to begin at the end of 2025.


"We are proud to equip the German Navy with the NH90 Sea Tiger. Operating both the NH90 Sea Lion and the Sea Tiger will allow the Navy to further streamline its operations and maintenance," said Stefan Thomé, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in Germany. "The NH90 Sea Lion, which is already in service with the Navy, has recently proven its capabilities during a first major rescue operation in the North Sea.”


The helicopters will replace the German Navy’s ageing Mk88A Sea Lynx fleet which entered into service in 1981. The Bundeswehr already operates 18 NH90 Sea Lion naval transport helicopters which were delivered on schedule between 2019 and 2023.


The Sea Tiger is the latest version of the proven NH90 NFH (Naval Version). It has been specifically designed to match the needs of the German Navy for a state of the art anti-submarine warfare helicopter. Novelties include a new Electro-Optical System and improved Electronic Support Measures (ESM). On top, the Sea Tiger is equipped with a dipping sonar, sonobuoys, and weapons (torpedoes and missiles). The shipborne Sea Tigers’ missions include, in addition to reconnaissance and transport, engaging targets above and below the surface.


135 naval NH90 helicopters have already been delivered to six nations and have completed over 90,000 flight hours in search and rescue, humanitarian, and military operations. There are more than 500 NH90 helicopters in service worldwide that have accumulated over 370,000 flight hours.


NHIndustries is the largest rotorcraft joint venture and it is responsible for the design, manufacturing and support of the NH90 helicopter, one of the leaders in the latest generation of military helicopters. The Company takes the best from the European rotorcraft and defence industry, being owned by Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), Leonardo (32%) and GKN Fokker (5.5%). Each company has a long aerospace pedigree and brings the top of its skills and expertise to the end product.


 

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Airbus starts Galileo Second Generation satellite production


Manufacturing of six state-of-the-art GNSS satellites to augment current Galileo constellation


Friedrichshafen, 1 December 2023 – Full production has begun on the six Galileo Second Generation (G2) satellites at Airbus’ site in Friedrichshafen, Germany, with the arrival of the first satellite Flight Model structure from Beyond Gravity in Zurich. After initial preparation the panels will be dispatched to other Airbus sites before final integration and testing at Friedrichshafen. The Galileo G2 satellites are scheduled for launch in the coming years to support the initial deployment and validation of the G2 System.


Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said: “After the successful design phase we are now kicking off production in earnest of the state-of-the-art Galileo G2 satellites. Our teams in Friedrichshafen are working with engineers across Europe to meet the challenging schedule and finalise these sophisticated satellites which will further improve the global Galileo system opening up even more opportunities for services on Earth.”


To meet the demanding schedule to deliver all six satellites in less than two years, Airbus has developed a coordinated production programme to leverage the spacecraft manufacturing, integration, and testing expertise across Airbus sites including Backnang (near Stuttgart), Friedrichshafen, Madrid, Ottobrunn (near Munich) and Toulouse. The second satellite structure is due to arrive in early 2024 and the third towards the end of next year. Airbus’ modular approach to the manufacturing of the G2 satellites will see three spacecraft being produced in parallel at any one time.


The G2 satellites will incorporate enhanced navigation antennas which will help improve accuracy of the flagship European Global Navigation Satellite System. The spacecraft, equipped with electric propulsion for the first time and higher-strength navigation antennas, will also feature fully digital payloads which will be easily reconfigured in orbit, enabling them to actively respond to the evolving needs of users with novel signals and services.

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ESA's Director of Navigation Javier Benedicto said (English version) : “This new milestone is a testament to the capabilities and dedication of the European industry and reaffirms ESA’s commitment to redefine the boundaries of satellite navigation. I cannot wait to see the many parts come together to bring to life an even better performing Galileo system, so this EU programme can continue serving European and world citizens.”


The above 2 tons satellites, which benefit from Airbus’ heritage of the highly reliable Eurostar series of telecommunications satellites, will also incorporate six (rather than four) enhanced atomic clocks as well as inter-satellite links, enabling them to communicate and cross-check with one another. This is intended to offer decimetre-scale precision positioning for users around the world. They will be controllable with an increased data rate to and from the ground and equipped with advanced jamming and spoofing protection mechanisms to safeguard Galileo signals. The spacecraft will operate in orbit for 15 years.


The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and funded by the European Union. The European Commission and ESA have signed an agreement by which ESA acts as design authority and system development prime on behalf of the Commission. The views expressed in this Press Release can in no way be taken to reflect the opinion of the European Union and/or ESA. “Galileo” is registered as a trademark in the database of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (n° 002742237).


 

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ESA entrusts Airbus further for Earth observation standard reference TRUTHS mission



TRUTHS will provide a benchmark of Earth’s energy balance by consistent calibration traced to a metrological reference. Consistent calibration will also enhance existing satellite missions

TRUTHS artist view



Airbus has been awarded the latest phase in the European Space Agency (ESA) TRUTHS mission as part of ESA’s Earth Observation Earth Watch programme. The contract covers detailed definition of the mission and payload, and focuses on payload development and de-risking activities with an option for the procurement of long lead time hardware ahead of the full implementation phase following the 2025 ESA Ministerial budget meeting. The contract is worth €109.3 million including options and was signed at COP28 in Dubai.


The TRUTHS satellite mission will measure the Sun’s radiation and the sunlight reflected off Earth's surface relative to an accurate reference, which will then be used to improve the climatological data sets and calibrate the observations of other satellites. This space-based climate and calibration observing system will enable data from other satellites to be compared more easily providing greater standards of data harmonisation for even more accurate climate change forecasts.


Jean Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus said: “This contract takes us one step closer to building a mission that will enable scientists and climatologists to cross reference their measurements and data enabling much more accurate forecasts and analysis in a shorter time. TRUTHS will provide the gold standard of calibration for space-based Earth observation – a kind of ‘standards laboratory in space’.”


UK Science, Research and Innovation Minister, Andrew Griffith, said: “This UK-led mission will have a global impact, providing invaluable measurements to improve our understanding of climate change. Overseen by Airbus-UK, this work is generating growth and developing important industrial capabilities across our space sector, driving forward our ambitions to make the UK a science and technology superpower.”


ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli, said, “We are glad to award the contract to Airbus in the UK to take their work on developing TRUTHS into the next all-important phase. We see here at COP28 that the world is committed to climate action and having reliable data on which to base decisions is of the utmost importance. TRUTHS will be used as a benchmark so that data from other satellites can be compared more easily, thereby improving reliability.”


TRUTHS stands for Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio Studies. This latest phase will include design definition of the mission and payload as well as commencing the build-up of the Industrial partners required to deliver such a complex payload while establishing optical Earth instrumentation expertise in the UK. This enhanced capability in the UK will enable Europe to benefit from a new skill set for Earth observation satellite missions in the future.


TRUTHS will carry a Cryogenic Solar Absolute Radiometer (CSAR) to provide a primary calibration standard in order to benchmark measurements of both incoming solar radiation and outgoing reflected radiation - measured with a Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor (HIS) also part of the payload - with unprecedented accuracy. These measurements will give the ability to estimate radiative imbalance underlying climate change and, importantly, in a shorter time than is currently possible. TRUTHS will serve to calibrate other satellite sensors, such as those carried on the Copernicus missions, through co-imaging operations.


 

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Airbus Helicopters, Indamer come together for helicopter maintenance in India​


Nagpur, 8 December 2023: Airbus Helicopters and Indamer have joined hands to provide cutting edge after-market services for helicopters in India, in a significant boost to the development of the rotary-wing Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) ecosystem in the country.


Under authorisation from Airbus Helicopters, Indamer will provide MRO services for Airbus helicopters at its facilities in Mumbai, New Delhi and Nagpur. Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, inaugurated the Nagpur facility today in the presence of Romain Trapp, Executive Vice-President, Customer Support and Services for Airbus Helicopters, and Prajay Patel, Director, Indamer Aviation Pvt. Ltd., along with Rémi Maillard, President and Managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia, and Sunny Guglani, Head of Helicopters, Airbus India and South Asia.


“Building and supporting a sustainable end-to-end rotary-wing aviation ecosystem in India is key for Airbus Helicopters. With Indamer, we aim to cater to our growing fleet in India and the future potential while at the same time bring in the technical competencies that will help advance India’s helicopter MRO ambitions,” said Romain Trapp, Executive Vice-President, Customer Support & Services for Airbus Helicopters.


“Over a decade ago, Indamer made the strategic decision to establish its rotary-wing MRO division, concentrating on addressing the increasing demands of Indian customers for helicopters. The recognition from Airbus is a direct outcome of the company’s commitment to this focus. With the right support, we maintain our belief that the maintenance requirements of Indian customers can be effectively fulfilled domestically. We align with Airbus in sharing this collective vision and express gratitude for their recognition,” said Prajay Patel, Director, Indamer Aviation.


The Indamer-Airbus Helicopters MRO will provide faster turnaround for servicing and help create an efficient after-market experience for Airbus Helicopters customers not only in India but also in the wider South Asia region.


Airbus Helicopters’ collaboration with Indamer is the latest in Airbus’ expanding industrial footprint in India, which seeks to put in place the building blocks for a mature, comprehensive aerospace ecosystem in the country. Today, every Airbus commercial aircraft and helicopter has critical technologies and parts designed, made and maintained in India.


Indamer is already the largest MRO operator for helicopters in India with presence in multiple locations, including Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi. Airbus has been leading the domestic civil and parapublic helicopter market, accounting for more than half of the new registered deliveries since 2010. Currently, there are more than 125 Airbus helicopters, including world leading platforms such as H125, H130, H135, H145 and Dauphin, in use by operators throughout the India & South Asia region, particularly in the energy, commercial and business aviation segments.


 

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Airbus Helicopters and German Armed Forces sign largest H145M contract


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Donauwörth – The German Bundeswehr and Airbus Helicopters have signed a contract for the purchase of up to 82 multi-role H145M helicopters (62 firm orders plus 20 options). This is the largest order ever placed for the H145M and consequently the largest for the HForce weapon management system. The contract also includes seven years of support and services, ensuring optimal entry into service. The German Army will receive fifty-seven helicopters, while the Luftwaffe's special forces will receive five.


“We are proud that the Bundeswehr has decided to order up to 82 H145M helicopters”, said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H145M is a robust multi-role helicopter and the German Air Force has gained a significant amount of operational experience with its H145M LUH Special Operations Forces fleet. We will ensure that the Bundeswehr receives the helicopters in accordance with the very ambitious delivery schedule which includes first deliveries in 2024 less than a year after contract signature.”


The H145M is a multi-role military helicopter that provides a broad range of mission capabilities. Within minutes, the helicopter can be reconfigured from a light attack role with axial ballistic and guided weapons and a state-of-the-art self-protection system into a special operations version including fast rappelling equipment. The comprehensive mission packages include hoisting and external cargo capabilities. Additionally, 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 ordered H145Ms will be equipped with fixed provisions, including the weapon management system, HForce, developed by Airbus Helicopters. This allows the Bundeswehr to train its pilots on the same type of helicopter that is used for operation and combat. Costly type transfers are eliminated and the highest level of professionalisation will be achieved.


The H145M is the military version of the tried-and-tested, light twin-engine H145 helicopter. The global fleet of the H145 family has now accumulated more than seven million flight hours. It is used by armed and law enforcement forces around the world for the most demanding missions. The Bundeswehr already operates 16 H145M LUH SOF and 8 H145 LUH SAR helicopters. The US Army employs almost 500 helicopters from the H145 family under the name of UH-72 Lakota. Current operators of the H145M are Hungary, Serbia, Thailand and Luxembourg; Cyprus has ordered six aircraft.


Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, the H145M is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). In addition, the helicopter is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite which, alongside innovative flight data management, includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, which considerably reduces pilot workload during missions. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145M the quietest helicopter in its class.


 

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C295 MPA + MSA Spain 2


Spain orders 16 Airbus C295 in Maritime Patrol and Surveillance configurations​


Getafe, 20 December 2023 – The Spanish Ministry of Defence has ordered 16 Airbus C295 aircraft in Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) configuration and Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) configuration. The contract amounts to €1.695 billion.


These new aircraft will enable the Spanish Air and Space Force and the Spanish Navy to strengthen the national anti-submarine warfare capability as well as increase and enhance its surveillance, reconnaissance and search & rescue units.


“The aircraft will be fully designed and manufactured in Spain, fostering the national industrial defence footprint and sovereignty” said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “In particular, the Maritime Patrol version is the most complex C295 mission configuration to date. A major development project that will bring together the latest technologies to provide an operational advantage to our customer.”


The contract also includes training systems (Full Flight Simulator and Mission System Simulator) and an initial logistics support package.


The C295 MPA will conduct the missions performed by the P-3 Orion fleet, which were retired at the end of 2022. It will be equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Likewise, it will be able to carry armaments such as torpedoes and other types of weapon systems.


The MPA configuration will be highly connected and will be able to operate in a collaborative mode with other platforms in different domains. The aircraft can become a flying command-and-control centre, providing the Spanish Armed Forces with the versatility to carry out a wide range of missions.


The C295 MSA is the natural replacement for the CN-235 VIGMA aircraft fleet, which have been in service with the Spanish Air and Space Force since 2008. It will be primarily equipped for maritime and overland operations such as anti-smuggling, anti-illegal immigration and anti-drug trafficking operations, as well as national and international search-and-rescue missions.


There will be a high degree of synergy between both configurations. The Spanish Air and Space Force also operates a fleet of 13 Airbus C295 in transport configuration.


The aircraft will be assembled at Airbus’ military facilities in Seville.


 

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Airbus Helicopters to expand unmanned aerial system portfolio with acquisition of Aerovel


Unmanned aerial system (UAS), Flexrotor



Marignane - Airbus Helicopters and Aerovel have signed an agreement regarding the acquisition of Aerovel and its unmanned aerial system (UAS), Flexrotor, as part of a strategy to strengthen its portfolio of tactical unmanned solutions. Flexrotor is a small tactical unmanned aerial system designed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions at sea and over land.


"We are looking forward to welcoming Aerovel into the Airbus family. This strategic acquisition aligns with our vision to expand our UAS offering and respond to a growing customer demand worldwide for additional mission capabilities such as manned-unmanned teaming. Aerovel's expertise in autonomous flight technology will undoubtedly complement our UAS development with the VSR700, as well as the work that we have been doing to develop interoperability,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.


"Joining forces with Airbus will allow us to scale innovation, accelerate our mission to advance unmanned aviation, and maintain our unwavering support for the US military and its allies. We are proud to become part of an organisation with a rich legacy of aerospace excellence and we look forward to leveraging our combined strengths to define the future of autonomous systems. It will also be a great tribute to our Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Tad McGeer, who has spent the last 30 years committed to delivering innovative unmanned products,” said Ali Dian, CEO of Aerovel.


The Flexrotor, a modern Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aircraft with a maximum launch weight of 25 kg, has been designed for ISTAR missions for more than 12-14 hours in a typical operational configuration. It can integrate different types of payloads including an electro-optical system and advanced sensors to suit customers’ unique mission needs. With the ability to autonomously launch and recover from either land or sea requiring only a 12 by 12 ft. area for launch and recovery, the Flexrotor is ideal for expeditionary missions requiring minimal footprint. Through the support of the US Department of Defense (DoD), and contracted deployment in a variety of maritime security exercises, the Flexrotor is a mission-proven, force multiplier for operations in harsh, high-threat, GPS-denied environments. The Flexrotor can also be used for parapublic missions such as forest fire surveillance (providing firefighters with critical images day or night) and ice navigation (helping guide naval vessels through ice in the Arctic ocean).


Aerovel, based in Bingen, Washington, will remain a US-owned company and continue collaboration with the US DoD under Airbus’ Special Security Agreement (SSA).


The acquisition has been approved by the relevant bodies of both companies. It remains subject to regulatory approvals, as well as other customary conditions. Transaction closing is expected in 2024.


 

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Airbus Helicopters and Heligo sign services contract for H145 fleet


Hyderabad, 19 January 2024: Airbus has signed an HCare Initial contract, a comprehensive by-the-hour services contract with Heligo Charter Private Limited for six Airbus H145 helicopters deployed for offshore and onshore operations in India.


Under this five-year contract, Heligo will benefit from Airbus’ HCare Initial program, which will give the operator the freedom to replace scheduled and unscheduled components within 24 hours and pay a fixed rate per hour of helicopter flown. This will help Heligo to bring down their maintenance costs and the need to keep a regular inventory, thereby providing them with enhanced fleet availability for streamlined operations.


“We are proud to be the first operator to offer a fleet of Airbus Helicopters' 5-bladed H145 to ONGC for offshore operations in India. Once these helicopters are delivered this year, Heligo will have the largest H145 fleet in India serving both offshore and onshore missions. The H145 is a modern, multi-role helicopter which is suited for Indian conditions, offering exceptional performance and operational economics," said Nayan Jagjivan, Chairman, Heligo Charters Private Limited.


“We congratulate the Heligo team for being awarded the recent offshore contract with the H145s. This HCare Initial by-the-hour contract that we have just signed with Heligo for their H145 fleet will ensure efficient operations for these helicopters and their maximum availability. At Airbus, we believe in providing the best combination of support and services to our customers and we are proud of our long association with Heligo. This is Airbus Helicopters’ largest By-the-Hour contract with an Indian operator,” said Sunny Guglani, Head of Airbus Helicopters, Airbus India and South Asia.


The H145 is the latest member of the company’s twin-engine rotorcraft product range – with designed-in mission capability and flexibility, especially in high and hot operating conditions. Compact in size, this helicopter’s small footprint and large, flexible cabin enables maneuvering in complex environments, such as oil and gas helidecks.


HCare is Airbus Helicopters’ comprehensive services offer, providing superior customer service support in five domains: Material Management; Helicopter Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and upgrades; Technical Support; Training & Flight Operations and Connected Services. With this contract, Heligo’s entire fleet of Airbus helicopters will benefit from the HCare Initial By-the-Hour programme.


 

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French Ministry of Interior orders 42 H145 helicopters


Sécurité Civile


Marignane - The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) ordered 42 new H145 helicopters at the end of 2023, on behalf of the Ministry of Interior, with deliveries set to start in 2024. Of these 42 helicopters, 36 are destined for the French rescue and emergency response agency, Sécurité Civile, while the French law enforcement agency, Gendarmerie Nationale, will use six. The contract includes an option for a further 22 H145s for the Gendarmerie Nationale and a range of support and service solutions from training to spare parts, as well as 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 H145 has already proven its worth with the Sécurité Civile conducting many rescue missions in the difficult mountainous environment of the French Alps”, he added. “The H145 is operated by many law enforcement agencies across the world. The Gendarmerie will benefit from a state-of-the-art helicopter equipped with the latest mission systems,” he explained.


The Sécurité Civile currently operates four five-bladed H145s, ordered in 2020 and 2021. The 36 H145s will progressively replace the 33 EC145s currently in operation for rescue and air medical transport services, throughout France.


The six H145s will initiate the renewal of the Gendarmerie’s fleet, composed of Ecureuils, EC135s and EC145s. They will be equipped with an electro-optical system and a mission computer to perform the most demanding law enforcement missions.


 

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Airbus partners with Tata Group to set up India’s first helicopter Final Assembly Line in the private sector


New Delhi, In a major boost to ‘Make in India’, Airbus Helicopters has announced that it is partnering with the Tata Group to establish a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters in the country. The FAL will produce Airbus’ best-selling H125 helicopter from its civil range for India and export to some of the neighbouring countries.


The FAL will be the first instance of the private sector setting up a helicopter manufacturing facility in India, providing a major boost to the Government of India’s 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) programme. Under this partnership, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a subsidiary of Tata Group, will set up the facility along with Airbus Helicopters.


The announcement was made during the two-day visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India as Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.


The FAL in India will undertake the integration of the major component assemblies, avionics and mission systems, installation of electrical harnesses, hydraulic circuits, flight controls, dynamic components, fuel system and the engine. It will also do testing, qualification, and delivery of the H125 to customers in India and the region. The FAL will take 24 months to set up and deliveries of the first ‘Made in India’ H125s are expected to commence in 2026. The location of the FAL will be jointly decided by Airbus and the Tata Group.


“Helicopters are crucial for nation building. A ‘Made-in-India’ civil helicopter will not only be a symbol of the confident New India but will also unlock the true potential of the helicopter market in the country,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. “This helicopter final assembly line, which we will build together with our trusted partner Tata, is a reaffirmation of Airbus’ commitment to developing the full spectrum of the aerospace ecosystem in India. This will be the second final assembly line Airbus is building in India after the ‘Make in India’ C295 military aircraft manufacturing facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.”


N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said, “The Tata Group is delighted to set up India’s first helicopter assembly facility in the private sector. This facility will have the final assembly line in partnership with Airbus for the world’s bestselling Airbus H125 single engine helicopter for the Indian as well as export markets.”


Undisputed in its class, the H125 produced in India will catalyse the use of helicopters in the country. This multi-mission workhorse will revolutionise passenger and goods transportation and will also be used for segments such as emergency medical services (HEMS), disaster management, law enforcement, tourism and aerial work missions. Providing last mile connectivity to remote areas, the H125 will significantly contribute to the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) that will further promote the tourism sector in the country.


The H125 is the world’s best-selling single-engine helicopter that outclasses other helicopters in its category. This high-performing versatile helicopter is a member of Airbus’ Ecureuil family, which has accumulated more than 38 million flight hours worldwide. It can operate in high-and-hot and extreme environments and can be easily reconfigured for various missions, including aerial work, firefighting, law enforcement, rescue, air ambulance, passenger transport, and many others.


The H125 is the only helicopter to have landed on Mount Everest, demonstrating its agility in operating in high altitude, extreme environments.


The proposed helicopter manufacturing facility will be the second FAL to be established in India by Airbus, leveraging TASL’s capabilities in aerospace and defence. The two companies are building the C295 military transport aircraft FAL in Vadodara, Gujarat.


The latest announcement is part of Airbus’ efforts to develop a holistic aerospace ecosystem in India, where the company is expanding its industrial footprint with aircraft assembly, component manufacturing, engineering and digital design and development, MRO support, pilot and maintenance training as well as academic collaboration to foster human capital.


 

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Microflite adds new five-bladed H145


Microflite H145


Singapore, Australian commercial aircraft operator Microflite has ordered a second five-bladed H145 to support its growing training, commercial, utility, fire observation and rescue operations.


Microflite is Airbus’ largest civil helicopter customer in Australia, currently operating an Airbus fleet of 20 rotorcraft ranging from single-engine H120, H125 and H130, to twin-engine H135 and H145. The operator also has on order an H135 and an H145, with the latter being the fifth Helionix equipped helicopter in its fleet.


“The H145 has proven to be an excellent workhorse for our multi-mission operations. With the second five-bladed H145 joining the fleet in the coming months, we can’t wait to see these versatile helicopters making a positive impact to our expanding training and commercial portfolio,” said Jonathan Booth, Chief Executive Officer, Microflite Helicopter Services.


“Microflite has been a strong Airbus operator and we are honoured by its continued trust in our helicopters as it ventures into new missions including military training and grows its local footprint and capabilities,” said Clinton Watt, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Airbus Australia Pacific.


Managing an impressive Airbus fleet for various missions, Microflite is an Airbus appointed maintenance and pilot training centre. The Victoria-based operator offers a suite of type-rated training for the entire suite of single-engine and light twin helicopters.


Additionally, Microflite is working closely with Airbus to advance mutual training ambitions through the introduction of a Full Flight Simulator in Australia, in the next two years.


 

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THC signs historic framework agreement for up to 120 Airbus helicopters


H125 and H145 in flight



Anaheim, The Helicopter Company (THC), Saudi Arabia's premier provider of commercial helicopter services and fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has signed a historic framework agreement with Airbus at the HAI Heli-Expo, currently taking place at Anaheim Convention Center, California.


The framework agreement will include up to 120 Airbus helicopters of various types set to be delivered over the next five to seven years. Part of the deal is a firm order for eight H125s along with 10 H145s that are converted options from an earlier contract, bringing THC’s total firm Airbus helicopter fleet to 60, 25 of which are already in service today.


The new H125 helicopters will support the delivery of THC’s range of services in areas including aerial work and tourism. The H145s will be used in a variety of roles including Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and corporate transport.


“Our relationship with THC started in 2020 with the first contract for 10 H125s. Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength, moving beyond just helicopters to also look at how we can help pave the way for the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the region. This latest framework agreement reinforces the scope of our offering and we thank THC for allowing us to help expand their helicopter activity,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO.


The CEO of THC, Capt Arnaud Martinez, said, “We are delighted to announce our framework agreement with Airbus, a transformative moment in our growth journey which solidifies our position as a global player as well as regional leader. The agreement will enable us to both contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals through strengthening Saudi’s aviation sector whilst also meeting the changing needs of our growing customer base, both locally and globally. Our collaboration with Airbus will reshape the aviation landscape as together, we will push the boundaries of innovation and showcase that with the right partner, everything is possible in aviation.”


The Helicopter Company is at the forefront of developing commercial helicopter services in the Kingdom, having introduced the H145 into service for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and deployed both the H145 and H125 in support of the Dakar Rally. Last year the company took delivery of its first ACH160 for Red Sea Global tourism operations.


 

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DRF Luftrettung orders up to 10 additional H145s


Anaheim, German helicopter emergency medical services operator DRF Luftrettung and Airbus Helicopters have announced orders for up to ten H145 helicopters (seven firm orders, three options).


“It is the mission of DRF Luftrettung to continuously improve medical care for people in need. With the new order of ten additional H145s, we continue to ensure the optimal service for our patients by keeping the helicopter fleet as modern and flexible as possible for our life-saving missions,” said Dr. Krystian Pracz, CEO of DRF Luftrettung.


"As an operator that deploys its fleet for emergency medical services, the DRF Luftrettung truly understands the importance that a helicopter's performance can have in making a decisive difference in the care a patient receives. We are therefore very grateful for the continued trust that they place in our helicopters," said Thomas Hein, Head of Europe Region at Airbus Helicopters. "We are proud to see that over the last decade the H145 has become the backbone of DRF Luftrettung's fleet performing life-saving missions in Germany and Europe."


The ordered helicopters will also be covered by DRF’s fleet-wide HCare Smart contract, which provides comprehensive parts-by-the-hour support.


DRF Luftrettung is one of the largest and most experienced air rescue organisations in Europe. The organisation and its subsidiaries operate more than 50 Airbus H135 and H145 helicopters at 40 bases throughout Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland for emergency rescue and intensive care transport operations. In addition to this, they are also deployed for special missions, including hoist operations and day and night operations.


 

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