Airbus Helicopters has completed delivery of an initial four EC725s to the Royal Thai Air Force, providing highly-capable rotorcraft for this military service’s search and rescue and troop transport duties. The order of four EC725s was signed in 2012, with the deliveries having just been completed. They are expected to begin operations later this month. Two additional EC725s were booked in 2014 for deliveries to the Royal Thai Air Force next year.
«With Thailand’s investment in the modernization of its aircraft inventory, the EC725s will become a formidable asset in the Royal Thai Air Force’s helicopter fleet», said Fabrice Rochereau, Airbus Helicopters’ Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations in Asia Pacific.
The EC725 is an 11-ton twin-engine helicopter featuring high-performance navigation and mission systems – including a unique digital four-axis autopilot. Delivering excellent flight autonomy and seating 28 persons, this powerful helicopter is perfectly tailored for the Royal Thai Air Force’s Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions, Search and Rescue (SAR) flights, troop transport operations and other tasks.
«We welcome the Royal Thai Air Force as a new Airbus Helicopters operator», said Derek Sharples, the Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia. «They can count on our full resources to support the successful deployment of the aircraft, and proximity services from our Thailand-based customer center».
Airbus Helicopters’ EC725 is a military rotorcraft of reference for the Asia Pacific region. Indonesia has ordered six units, deliveries of which started in late 2014, while Malaysia is already operating its fleet of 12 aircraft, performing numerous SAR missions at high availability rates.
Designed for the most demanding missions, the H225M’s reliability and durability have been demonstrated in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. As the latest member of Airbus Helicopters’ military Super Puma/Cougar family, this 11-metric-ton helicopter, previously named the EC725, is ready for multiple missions.
As a true multi-role platform, the H225M enables military forces to deploy wherever and whenever needed. Operating from both ships and land, this helicopter has an all-weather capability – including flight in icing conditions – supported by state-of-the-art night-vision goggle compatibility. The helicopter’s outstanding 700 nautical mile/806 miles/1,296 km range is extended with air-to-air refueling, which can be performed while in forward flight and during hover.
Powered by two latest-generation engines, the H225M’s five-blade rotor provides an exceptionally low vibration level, and the modular design of rotor mechanical assemblies allows for easier maintenance. The H225M is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and communication systems that reduce crew workload while enhancing mission capability and safety. Airbus Helicopters has incorporated significant advances in terms of man-machine interface, ensuring the most important information arrives to the pilot for the most effective decision-making process.
The flight crew has at their fingertips all navigation and piloting data from the electronic flight instruments in the glass cockpit, including dual-channel full-authority digital engine control for the H225M’s two Turbomeca turboshaft engines.
Airbus Helicopters’ renowned 4-axis, dual-duplex autopilot provides outstanding precision and stability and enables flight in search and rescue patterns as well as automatic approaches in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) procedures.
Unrivalled redundancy is provided in key onboard systems to maintain full functionality, including the dual-duplex Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), dual-engine Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) with backup; five LCD electronic flight instruments; and two Vehicle Monitoring Displays, among other features.
Using the proven military heritage of Airbus Helicopters’ Puma and Super Puma rotorcraft, the H225M was conceived with survivability in mind. Its airframe has reinforced structural main frames and is equipped with high energy-absorbing landing gear, along with self-sealing and crashworthy fuel tanks.
Cockpit protection is provided by armored and energy-absorbing crew seats, while the cabin can be equipped with armor plating in the floors and walls or fitted with armor-plated carpets. The rotor blades’ multi-box construction enhances their resistance to bullet impacts.
Contributing to the H225M’s survivability is a radar-warning receiver, missile approach warning system, and chaff/flare dispensers. The engine exhausts can be fitted with infrared suppressors, with protection against sand and ice provided by inlet design and with installable filters.
The H225M carries a strong «punch» when called on, ready for everything from front-line missions to critical logistics support. Qualified armament includes a 7.62-mm machine gun in the forward cabin windows; along with 180-round 20-mm gun pods and 19-tube 2.75-inch/70-mm rocket launchers.
Included in the mission avionics are a flight management system with Doppler, GPS satellite navigation and SAR modes; a digital moving map; a personal locator system; a loud speaker and a searchlight, among others.
From home base to the most remote locations, Airbus Helicopters conceived the H225M with maintainability in mind.
The Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines are of modular design for easy maintenance, and Airbus Helicopters’ Spheriflex fiberglass main rotor head is easy to adjust. The airframe includes a built-in step to access the engines.
Overall maintenance information is provided through the integrated HUMS (Health Usage Monitoring System).
|Troop transport||2 pilots + 1 chief of stick + 28 seats|
|VIP transport||2 pilots + 8 to 12 passengers|
|Casualty evacuation||2 pilots + up to 11 stretchers + 4 seats|
|Sling load||4,750 kg/10,472 lbs|
|Length||16.79 m/55.08 feet|
|Width||3.96 m/13 feet|
|Height||4.60 m/15.09 feet|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||11,000 kg/24,251 lbs|
|MTOW in external load configuration||11,200 kg/24,690 lbs|
|Empty weight||5,715 kg/12,600 lbs|
|Useful load||5,285 kg/11,651 lbs|
|Maximum cargo-sling load||4,750 kg/10,472 lbs|
|Standard fuel capacity||2,247 kg/4,954 lbs|
|ENGINES 2 TURBOMECA MAKILA 2A1|
|Take-off power per engine||1,567 kW/2,101 shp|
|PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, ISA*, SL**|
|Maximum speed (Vne***)||324 km/h/175 knots|
|Fast cruise speed (at MCP****)||262 km/h/142 knots|
|Rate of climb||5.4 m/s/1,064 feet/min|
|Service ceiling (Vz = 0.508 m/s = 100 feet/min)||3,968 m/13,019 feet|
|Hover ceiling OGE***** at ISA*, MTOW, take-off power||792 m/2,600 feet|
|Maximum range without reserve at Economical Cruise Speed||909 km/491 NM|
|Endurance without reserve at 148 km/h/80 knots||>4 h 20 min|
* International Standard Atmosphere
** Sea Level
*** Never Exceed Speed
**** Mode Control Panel
***** Out of Ground Effect
Caracal & Tiger in tandem AirbusHelicopters