Belgium Acquires 17 H145M Light Utility Helicopters from Airbus

Belgium Acquires 17 H145M Light Utility Helicopters from Airbus

The Belgian government has approved the acquisition of 15 H145M light utility helicopters for its armed forces, as well as two additional aircraft for the Federal Police. The announcement was made on 31 May 2024 by the Belgian Ministry of Defence.

The order, for a total undisclosed amount, was placed with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). Its purpose is to modernise and expand the air capabilities of the Belgian Defence and National Police forces. For Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder, this purchase ‘strengthens our European roots’. The H145Ms are already being used by neighbouring countries such as Germany and Luxembourg, enabling a pooling of efforts in terms of training, maintenance and crew training.

‘As set out in my STAR plan, we are investing in our capabilities to ensure the operational readiness of our Land Component now and in the future,’ she said. The new aircraft will be used for medical evacuation and tactical troop transport missions. For her part, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden welcomed the acquisition of 2 additional helicopters for the Belgian Federal Police. They will boost the airborne capabilities that are essential for supporting ground teams on search, surveillance and intervention missions.

The H145M is a multi-purpose helicopter developed for day and night operations in extremely difficult conditions. Equipped with two high-performance Turbomeca Arriel 2E turboshaft engines, it benefits from a digital electronic engine control (FADEC) that optimizes its operation.

In terms of performance, the H145M can reach a maximum cruising speed of 241 km/h with a maximum take-off load of 3,800 kg. With its standard fuel tank, it can cover a distance of up to 637 km and stay airborne for 3 hours and 30 minutes. Its generous payload of 1,893 kg means it can carry up to 2 pilots and 10 passengers, or lift an external load of 1,600 kg.

The two turboshaft engines, each rated at 667 kW, can deliver 800 kW of emergency power in the event of an engine failure, ensuring the safety of the crews. With 723 kg of usable fuel, the H145M has plenty of range to carry out a wide range of missions, from tactical transport to medical evacuation.

In addition to its performance, the H145M has been designed for great versatility and ease of use. Its modular design means that it can be rapidly adapted to different configurations depending on operational requirements. This helicopter offers a complete and reliable solution for armed forces and security services.

In addition to the purchase of the aircraft, the contract also provides for the training of pilots and technicians, logistical support over 5 years and the acquisition of spare parts. The first deliveries are expected before the end of 2027.


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