Airbus Helicopters is expanding the capabilities of its self-developed weapon management system HForce on the successful H145M military multipurpose helicopter platform. For this purpose, the company has initiated a series of tests at the Cincu firing range in Romania.
The HForce system is already able to fire a 12,7mm-gun, a 20mm-canon and laser-guided and unguided rockets. The next step is the integration of a Spike anti-tank-missile from Rafael. As a first step, Airbus Helicopters has conducted a series of initial tests in the frame of a derisking-phase in min-January 2022 in order to evaluate the impact of the shooting on the helicopter. The next step will be full integration of the missile in the helicopter’s HForce system.
The H145M is a true multi-role helicopter. In addition to tactical air transport of six fully equipped special-forces commandos, this light twin-engine helicopter can be deployed for fire support, armed reconnaissance, evacuation of wounded or hostage rescue. The H145M is operated with Hungary (20) Germany (15), Serbia (9), Thailand (5), Luxembourg (2). The helicopter has been also proposed by IAR, Airbus Helicopters’ long-term partner in the country, to the Romanian Army. The US Army operates a fleet of more than 460 civil H145 family helicopters under the name UH-72 Lakota.
Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145M 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 H145M the quietest helicopter in its class.
HForce is a unique, exhaustive and flexible weapon system designed to meet the requirements of defence forces seeking light attack mission capabilities or a complement to their existing fleet of specialised attack helicopters. It is the latest-generation Airbus weapon system. It is modular and incremental, and can be fitted onto any military version of Airbus’ helicopter range (H125M, H145M, H225M). HForce offers a large array of weapons, modern and easy target acquisition and a high level of targeting accuracy, formerly reserved for high-end attack helicopters.
The latest upgrade of the H145M adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the H145M, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg. The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design eases maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew.
Airbus is present in Romania with all three divisions: Airbus Helicopters Romania (2002) and Premium Aerotec (2009) in Brasov and Airbus Defence and Space (2005) in Bucharest.