The United Kingdom Secretary of State formally started construction of HMS Medway, the second of three River Class Batch 2 vessels (Offshore Patrol Vessel – OPV), by operating the plasma steel-cutting machine at an event attended by representatives from the Royal Navy, the local community and BAE Systems employees.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said: «These new ships are an important part of the £160 billion we are investing over the next decade in the equipment our armed forces need. The contract will benefit the dedicated workers of the Clyde, their families and the local economy in Glasgow. And the investment will ensure these shipyards continue to develop into world class engineering facilities at the heart of a thriving British naval shipbuilding capability».
Mick Ord, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «This is a proud day for everyone working on this important programme to deliver three new ships to the Royal Navy. The pace of progress on the River Class vessels reinforces the naval design, engineering and manufacturing skills we have in the UK. We are working closely with our Trade Unions, the Ministry of Defence and partners in the supply chain as we continue to build on our proud shipbuilding heritage. With investments in new technologies, cutting-edge processes, new ways of working and improved facilities we are transforming the way we design and build warships. This will enable us to deliver equipment of the highest quality at the lowest possible cost, helping to secure the long-term future of our highly skilled industry in the UK».
Construction of the first of class vessel HMS Forth is now well underway with its first unit transferred into the Ship Build Outfit Hall in Glasgow last week. The vessel is now being assembled alongside the final sections of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier, which will be delivered to Rosyth during the course of this year.
The 90.5-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel is based on a proven BAE Systems design, which is already in service with the Brazilian Navy and Royal Thai Navy. Engineers at BAE Systems have modified the design to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy in support of UK interests both at home and abroad. The OPVs will be globally deployable and capable of ocean patrol with a range of in excess of 5,500 nautical miles/6,329 miles/10,186 km and a maximum speed of 24 knots/27.6 mph/44.4 km/h.
The vessels will include a modified flight deck capable of operating the latest Merlin helicopters, larger stores and more accommodation for embarked troops. They will also be the first ships to be built with a BAE Systems designed operating system called Shared Infrastructure, which will be rolled out across the Royal Navy’s surface fleet over the next 10 years. Shared Infrastructure is a state-of-the-art system that will revolutionize the way ships operate by using virtual technologies to host and integrate the sensors, weapons and management systems that complex warships require. Replacing multiple large consoles dedicated to specific tasks with a single hardware solution, reduces the amount of spares required to be carried onboard and will significantly decrease through-life costs.
The manufacturing contract for the three 2,000-tonne ships was announced in August 2014 and construction of first of class HMS Forth began in October 2014. The production of HMS Trent, the third River Class ship, is expected to begin by the end of this year. The first ship is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2017.
As the first steel is cut for HMS Medway, take a look back at the progress across the River Class Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel programme
Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world’s biggest shipbuilder, announced on May 27 it launched its second minelayer MLS-II Nampo for the Korean Navy.
The launching ceremony of the RoKS Nampo (570) was attended by Mr. Baek Seung-joo, Vice Minister of National Defense of Republic of Korea; Mr. Kwon Oh-gap, President & CEO of HHI; and 100 other guests.
The MLS-II Nampo is both HHI and Korea’s second minelayer following MLS-560 Wonsan that was delivered in 1997 and are currently in operation. The MLS-II Nampo which can carry 120 crew measures 374 feet/114 m in length, 55.77 feet/17 m in width and 91.86 feet/28 m in depth with a displacement of 3,000 tons.
The next-generation stealth minelayer is specially built to lay a large number of mines precisely at the designated spots in a short period of time. The MLS-II Nampo is scheduled to be delivered to the Korean Navy by October 2016 after outfitting work, sea trials and final inspections.
HHI has been playing a key role in strengthening the defense capabilities of the Korean Navy by delivering a total of 71 naval ships including 12 frigates/patrol ships, 3 destroyers, 3 submarines, and 2 Aegis destroyers.
Following successful completion of on-orbit testing, the U.S. Navy accepted the third Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite.
Launched January 20, MUOS-3 is the latest addition to a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with operational MUOS terminals can seamlessly connect around the globe, beyond line-of-sight, with new smartphone-like capabilities, including simultaneous and crystal-clear voice, video and mission data, on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.
«MUOS is a game-changer in communications for every branch of our military, which all have mobile users who will benefit from these new capabilities», said Iris Bombelyn, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for narrowband communications. «This latest satellite will expand the MUOS network’s coverage over more than three-quarters of the globe, including significantly more coverage north and south than the current legacy voice-only system».
With on-orbit testing complete, MUOS-3 is being relocated to its on-orbit operational slot in preparation for operational acceptance.
The MUOS network is expected to provide near global coverage before year-end. MUOS-1 and MUOS-2, launched respectively in 2012 and 2013, are already operational and providing high-quality voice communications. Lockheed Martin handed over the last of four required ground stations to the Navy in February. MUOS-4 is expected to launch later this year.
Communication Service Types
Voice: Conversational and recognition voice
Data: Low data rate telemetry, short digital messaging, imagery transfer, file transfer, electronic mail, remote computer access, remote sensor reception, sporadic messaging for distributed applications, video, video teleconferencing
Mixed Voice and Data Services: Mixed transport of voice and data
4 GEO satellites and an on-orbit spare. 16 WCDMA beams per satellite. Satellite carries MUOS WCDMA and legacy UHF SATCOM payloads
Access Type: WCDMA
Data Rates: Up to 384 kbps on the move
Bandwidth: Four 5-MHz carriers
Transport Network: IPv4 and IPv6 dual stack network
DoD Teleport: Portal to Defense Information Systems Network: DSN, SIPRNET, NIPRNET
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) received a $3.35 billion contract award for the detail design and construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class of carriers. The work will be performed at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The company also received a $941 million modification to an existing construction preparation contract to continue material procurement and manufacturing in support of the ship.
Contract work includes aircraft carrier construction, ship design activities, engineering services, procurement of materials and hardware to support construction and logistics activities.
«These awards are important, not only for the shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding, but for the thousands of suppliers nationwide who provide the steel, pipe, cable, paint and equipment that goes into this cutting-edge defense platform – and for the sailors who will sail her», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News Shipbuilding’s vice president, John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) carrier construction. «We look forward to continuing to implement lessons learned from the first-of-the-class ship, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), in the construction of Kennedy and delivering the next great carrier to the Navy».
John F. Kennedy’s first steel was cut in December 2010. Since then, more than 450 of the ship’s 1,100 structural units have been constructed under a construction preparation contract that will be used to start erecting the hull. The ship’s keel-laying ceremony is scheduled for August 22.
John F. Kennedy will continue the legacy of highly capable U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier platforms. Ford-class enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie-generation rates. The Ford class also features new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power-generation capacity, allowance for future technologies, and reduced workload for sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and reduced operating costs for the Navy.
Expanding NATO’s joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability, Northrop Grumman Corporation and its industry partners together with NATO leaders unveiled the first NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) aircraft to an audience of customers, distinguished guests, employees and community leaders on June 4, 2015 in Palmdale, California.
The unmanned aircraft, a wide area surveillance Global Hawk, is part of a broader system of systems solution that will advance the Alliance’s evolving ISR needs during a full range of NATO’s missions such as protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control and maritime safety, the fight against terrorism, crisis management and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters.
«This marks a significant step forward in achieving NATO’s goal of acquiring NATO-owned and operated AGS Core Capability», said Erling Wang, chairman of the NATO AGS Management Organization (NAGSMO). «What you see here today is the result of one of the commitments made at the 2012 NATO Summit – to bring this advanced and critical persistent ISR capability to the Alliance to help ensure we can continue to address the range of challenges our member and other allied nations face».
The NATO-owned and operated program comprises five air vehicles and fixed, mobile and transportable ground stations. Northrop Grumman’s primary industrial team includes Airbus Defence and Space (Germany), Selex ES (Italy) and Kongsberg (Norway), as well as leading defense companies from all participating countries.
The industries of the 15 participating nations (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States), are each contributing to the delivery of the AGS system. All 28 Alliance nations will take part in the long-term support of the program.
«We are establishing the necessary ground stations, command and control systems, and training and logistics support services at the NATO AGS main operating base at Sigonella Air Base in Italy», stated Jim Edge, general manager of the NATO AGS Management Agency.
With the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time, the high-altitude long-endurance system will provide NATO leaders with persistent global situational awareness. The aircraft is equipped with leading-edge technology, including the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor. The MP-RTIP will provide critical data to commanders during operations in any weather, day or night. The NATO AGS system will also be able to fuse sensor data, continuously detect and track moving objects and provide detailed imagery.
«The level of collaboration required to bring together successfully so many international partners in the development of this tremendous system of systems capability for NATO speaks to the commitment and strength of the trans-Atlantic relationships we have built with our key partners, to deliver what is truly a European program», said Janis Pamiljans, sector vice president and general manager, unmanned systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.
NATO AGS Programme
The airborne entity is based on a modified RQ-4 Block 40 High-Altitude, Long-Endurance Unmanned Air Vehicle (HALE UAV), enhanced to support NATO specific interoperability and communications requirements. The UAV is equipped with state-of-the-art, multi-mode, Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor [Providing concurrent terrestrial and maritime Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) information in all-weather, day or night operations], enhanced with an extensive suite of network-centric enabled Line-Of-Sight (LOS) and Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) long-range, wide-band data links.
The European-sourced ground entities include a number of mobile and transportable ground stations, all managed by the Mission Operation Support (MOS), providing mission planning, connectivity, data processing and exploitation capabilities. In addition, they provide an interface between the AGS Core system and a wide range of interoperable interfaces for data exchange with interoperable NATO/National C4ISR systems.
The Air Vehicle Missions Command and Control (AVMC2) provides overall mission command and control of multiple air vehicles, coordination with interoperable NATO and national Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2ISR) systems, and coordination of the ground entities through the MOS across geographically dispersed theatres of operations. This AVMC2 capability provides multiple UAV command and control, theatre-wide Battle Management, Command and Control (BMC2) and sensor and information management within an integrated ground-based Operations Centre.
The MOS and AVMC2, along with the training and logistics support elements, will be located at the Main Operating Base (MOB) at Sigonella Air Base in Italy.
The AGS Core provides unprecedented real-time airborne ground surveillance and situational awareness information throughout the full range of operations for NATO and the nations. A system of systems, the AGS Core consists of air, ground, mission operations and support elements, performing all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance.
Using an advanced radar sensor, augmented with off-board Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) sensors and Full Motion Video (FMV) information, the AGS Core fuses sensor data, continuously detects and tracks moving objects, and provides object emission profiles as well as imagery of stationary objects throughout the observed areas.
Each AGS Core ground entity and the AVMC2 exchanges NATO standard C2ISR data with the interoperable NATO and national systems, further expanding the situational awareness available to ground, maritime, and air commanders in support of NATO missions – anywhere in the world.
The AGS Core, supplemented by national systems, will provide unprecedented situational awareness to different levels of command in support of NATO forces engaged in the full range of missions.
According to Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times correspondent, Boeing concluded the first phase of airworthiness testing of its 767 tanker prototype on June 2, 2015. This time the plane even looked like a real KC-46 tanker, though it is not quite there yet. This first prototype plane is testing the airframe and how it flies. The second test plane, which will be a real KC-46 tanker outfitted with working aerial-refueling systems, is to fly in summer.
On Tuesday’s flight, the Boeing KC-46 tanker prototype for the first time carried a refueling boom, a rigid tube extended back from the plane’s underside that is used to pass fuel to an aircraft flying behind and below the tanker. The prototype was also fitted with wing-refueling pods, which are used to refuel aircraft with different in-flight fuel-docking systems that fly behind and to the side of the tanker.
This equipment was not wired up and was not functional. However, the flight provided data on how these external attachments affect the jet’s behavior.
After the prototype’s maiden flight in December 2014, Boeing worked on the plane for five full months before it flew again. Then it flew three test flights on successive days last week. Tuesday’s flight lasted 4.3 hours and went well, said tanker spokesperson Chick Ramey.
Boeing has a contract to deliver to the U.S. Air Force the first 18 operational KC-46 tankers in 2017. The Air Force plans to buy a total 179 tankers under a $49 billion contract.
This first test plane will now enter planned ground testing, including Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification testing of the fuel systems. After that, it will return to the air for the next phase of airworthiness testing, which will push the limits of speed and altitude and support follow-on testing. The final two test airplanes in the flight-test program are expected to fly by the end of the year, Ramey said.
Moreover, it is said in the Defense-aerospace.com that the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) successfully supported the Boeing KC-46 tanker with the most detailed, advanced weapons survivability test series ever conducted at the Weapons Survivability Lab (WSL), China Lake, California on April 7.
«Excellent tests», said KC-46 lead engineer Scott Wacker, weapons survivability expert. «These have never been done before, so I’m happy to say that we met all our objectives. I believe that we are advancing the state of the art in understanding vulnerability in aircraft». (Source: US Naval Air Systems Command)
The tests, outlined by the KC-46 Live Fire Test and Evaluation Program (LFT&E), will be used to assess KC-46, system-level survivability in high fidelity, operational environments against ballistic and advanced threats. The results provided a wide range of data instrumental in mitigating worst-case scenarios for the aircraft, which directly improves and preserves warfighting capability. «There were over 330 channels collecting raw data, 10 high speed cameras recording 10,000 to 100,000 frames per second and 30 real time video feeds», said Eric Brickson, KC-46 LFT&E engineer. «We had a very extensive list of requirements and NAWCWD met them all».
Representatives from NAWCWD, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force and the Institute for Defense Analysis were among several of the organizations and stakeholders present to witness the event at the WSL. «It was a very successful test», said Col. Chris Coombs, Air Force. «We designed these tests against the aircraft to see how it would perform, so we’d know if the people, whether they are pilots, operators or passengers, could survive on this plane under the most relevant of circumstances».
According to the KC-46 Program Office, plans call for the procurement of 179 KC-46s to replace one third of the existing aerial refueling fleet.
Primary Function: Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor: The Boeing Company
Power Plant: 2 Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust: 62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan: 157 feet, 8 inches (48.1 meters)
Length: 165 feet, 6 inches (50.5 meters)
Height: 52 feet, 10 inches (15.9 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 415,000 pounds (188,240 kilograms)
Maximum Landing Weight: 310,000 pounds (140,614 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 212,299 pounds (96,297 kilograms)
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load: 207,672 pounds (94,198 kilograms)
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 65,000 pounds (29,484 kilograms)
Maximum Airspeed: 360 KCAS/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling: 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance: 8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions: 18 pallet positions
Air Crew: 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers: 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation: 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment
On June 2 the Eurocopter AS365 N3+ Dauphin, the new helicopter of the Lithuanian Air Force landed at Šiauliai Airbase. This is the first of the three Search And Rescue (SAR) helicopters contracted for by the Lithuanian Armed Forces together with the Ministry of Environment from European Union (EU) funds. Eurocopter is planned to deliver and hand over the second and the third helicopters to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by the end of the year.
«We are retiring dated Russian-manufactured helicopters and continue to fit up our armed forces with western equipment. It matters to us that our pilots will fly more up-to-date, new and more efficient aircraft», Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas says. Minister also underscored that the first helicopter will also serve to fulfil Lithuania’s commitment to the nations completing the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission by ensuring SAR function.
As laid out in the arrangement of cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Lithuanian Armed Forces is committed to use no less than 75 flight hours for environmental observation and control annually. The AS365 N3+ Dauphin rotorcraft, delivered to the Lithuanian Air Force by the Airbus Helicopter, will complete environmental monitoring and control from the air tasks and SAR missions: search for people lost at sea, extinguish fires, transport patients or organs for transplantation, support state and municipal institutions in emergencies.
The Lithuanian Armed Forces signed the procurement contract with Airbus Helicopter on three Eurocopter AS365 N3+ Dauphins in October 2013. The total value of the contract amounts to roughly EUR 52 million. The price includes purchasing price of the three helicopters, all related equipment, training of pilots and maintenance personnel, and three-year after-sales services.
Lithuania is not the first European Union member state that has used EU funding for purchasing helicopters. Earlier, Spain bought rotary-wing aircraft in the same manner. Also, many European countries practise buying dual use goods to save and to the end of an economical effect.
AS365 N3+ Dauphin
The AS365 N3+ belongs to the Dauphin family, which is well known for its unique design. This medium helicopter has proven its ability to perform any kind of mission, anywhere in the world. It even excels in the most severe climatic conditions, such as high altitudes or hot temperatures.
The standard AS365 N3+ is fitted with the unique Airbus Helicopters 4-axis autopilot to ease crew workload and help simplify the most demanding missions, including SAR. It also features excellent forward visibility during an approach.
The AS365 N3+ is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C turbine engines fitted with a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system. Not only can this aircraft take off in ground effect at maximum weight and in temperatures of up to +50°C, but it is also capable of taking off with a full load from sea level in Category A conditions.
The AS365 N3+ incorporates the all-composite Fenestron tail rotor, which provides safety, high manoeuvrability, exceptional efficiency and low sound level during flight. The Fenestron is also an unparalleled safety equipment for ground crew. Its sound emission is rated at 3.1 EPN decibels below the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, making it the quietest helicopter in its category.
Changing, integrating or upgrading sensors on a military aircraft can be an expensive, time-consuming and complex endeavor. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s new OpenPod sensor system, unveiled at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., overcomes these challenges by making it possible for maintainers to swap sensors in theater.
The OpenPod system consists of line-replaceable units and a set of interchangeable sensors that can be swapped out in minutes. Enabled by open architecture principles, OpenPod is the first of its kind to accommodate a range of sensors with one pod.
«The battlespace can change quickly. OpenPod keeps the complexity of the mission in mind by allowing warfighters to match the sensors to the mission quickly, giving them flexibility they have never had before», said James Mocarski, vice president, Airborne Tactical Sensors business unit, Northrop Grumman. «When you have OpenPod, you can have Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST), you can have targeting, and you can have communications without having to acquire multiple pods. That gives our customers a significant affordability advantage».
OpenPod will be available with targeting and IRST packages at launch, followed by communications, Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR), 5th-to-4th generation communications and other options in in the future. Because the pod allows for sensor changes without modifications to the aircraft or mission computer, OpenPod can be upgraded independent of the aircraft. That allows for more rapid and affordable upgrades and integration of new technologies.
OpenPod is the next step in sensor evolution for users of the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING family of advanced targeting systems. Any LITENING Targeting pod can be converted to an OpenPod, so operators can take full advantage of their existing investments, training and operational experience.
OpenPod: Enabled by open architecture
Building modular designs and disclosing data
Enabling competition and collaboration
Building interoperable joint warfighting applications – using OA frameworks
Identifying or developing reusable application software components & capabilities
Ensuring lifecycle affordability and planning for technology refresh
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.7 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Jun 1, 2015.
The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale of:
four (4) Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft;
ten (10) Rolls-Royce T56-A-427A engines (8 installed and 2 spares);
eight (8) Multifunction Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT);
four (4) Lockheed Martin APY-9 Radars;
spare and repair parts;
publications and technical documentation;
personnel training and training equipment;
aerial refueling support;
S. Government and contractor logistics;
engineering and technical support services;
other related elements of logistics and program support.
The estimated cost is $1.7 billion.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States. Japan is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives and the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.
The proposed sale of E-2D AHE aircraft will improve Japan’s ability to effectively provide homeland defense utilizing an AEW&C capability. Japan will use the E-2D AHE aircraft to provide AEW&C situational awareness of air and naval activity in the Pacific region and to augment its existing E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C fleet. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of these aircraft and support will not alter the basic military balance in the Pacific region.
The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems in Melbourne, Florida. The acquisition and integration of all systems will be managed by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. By serving as the «digital quarterback» to sweep ahead of strike, manage the mission, and keep our net-centric carrier battle groups out of harms way, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the key to advancing the mission, no matter what it may be. The E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.
Hardware with system characteristics that provides:
Substantial target processing capacity (>3,000 reports per second)
Three highly automated and common operator stations
High-capacity, flat-panel color high-resolution displays
Extensive video type selection (radar and identification friend/foe)
HF/VHF/UHF and satellite communications systems
Extensive data link capabilities
Inertial navigational system and global positioning system navigation and in-flight alignment
The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) have awarded Airbus Helicopters a full-service contract for the new H145M rotorcraft – which is to make its military debut with the German Air Force later this year. This seven-year comprehensive co-operative support and services agreement will ensure optimal availability, reliability and readiness for the German Air Force’s fleet of 15 H145M helicopters (previously designated the EC645 T2), which are to be used primarily in missions with the country’s Special Forces Command (Kommando Spezialkräfte).
Airbus Helicopters´ responsibility includes e.g. the management and implementation of maintenance and repair activities, material supply and airworthiness. The company will locate a dedicated team at the Laupheim Air Base in Baden-Württemberg, South Germany, creating a close cooperation with the Bundeswehr technicians who will support these helicopters during their missions around the world.
«We are committed to providing high-quality, comprehensive coverage in this first full-service contract for the new H145M», said Klaus Przemeck, the Head of Airbus Helicopters’ German Military Support Center. «It will build on our track record of successful support for the EC135s used to train its pilots at the German Army Aviation School in Bueckeburg, where the fleet’s operational availability is at over 90 percent».
The twin-engine multi-role H145M is based on Airbus Helicopters’ enhanced H145 civilian and parapublic rotorcraft (previously designated the EC145 T2). In its military version, depending on customer´s configuration, the helicopter is suited to a wide range of military operations – including transportation, reconnaissance, Search And Rescue (SAR), fire support and evacuations of wounded personnel.
Airbus Helicopters completed the H145M’s on-time certification process this month, enabling further military qualification this summer and the start-up of initial deliveries to the German Armed Forces before year-end as the initial customer for this rotorcraft version.
With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 metric tons/8,157 lbs, the H145M rotorcraft can be outfitted with mission equipment that includes a pintle-mounted door gun and the ability to carry weapons on external stores; electro optical/infrared sensors with targeting capability; as well as military avionics for communications, navigation and flight management.
A rope-down system is available for special operations, and overall survivability is enhanced by the H145M’s ballistic protection, its self-sealing fuel tanks, and electronic warfare self-protection against missile threats.
The H145M benefits from the robustness, low operating costs and high operational availability of Airbus Helicopters’ proven EC145/H145 family, with enhancements including Turbomeca Arriel-2E engines with dual-channel Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC), a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and tail rotor gearboxes.
This rotorcraft’s maximum Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW) has been increased by 50 kg/110 lbs, while its outstanding hover performance – even in One-Engine Inoperative (OEI) situations – is crucial for flight safety and mission success, especially during special operations and combat search & rescue duties.
Length (rotor rotating)
44.72 feet/13.63 m
38.35 feet/11.69 m
13.12 feet/4 m
Main rotor diameter
36.09 feet/11 m
Width (blades folded)
8.89 feet/2.71 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
8,157 lbs/3,700 kg
3,900 lbs/1,769 kg
3,307 lbs/1,500 kg
1/2 pilots + 10/9 troops
2 Turbomeca ARRIEL 2E turboshaft engines
Maximum Continuous Power (MCP)
2×771 shp/2×575 kW
Take-Off Power (TOP)
2×894 shp/2×667 kW
2 min One Engine Inoperative (OEI)
1×1,038 shp/1×775 kW
30 sec OEI-power
1×1,072 shp/1×800 kW
PERFORMANCE AT MTOW
Speed (Vne – never exceed speed)
135 knots/155 mph/250 km/h
Fast Cruise speed (Vh – maximum speed)
132 knots/152 mph/244 km/h
357 NM/411 miles/662 km
Hover ceiling OGE (TOP), ISA
8,858 feet/2,700 m
Command, Control, Communications and intelligence (C3i)
10 troops capability
Excellent access from both sides and rear
Unobstructed flat floor with rails
Excellent exterior visibility
STABLE AND ACCURATE FIRING PLATFORM
Multi-purpose pylons with slaving and release units
IR/TV Electro Optic System
Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible
Laser range finder/designator/pointer
Agile, low signature
Self-Sealing Supply Tanks
High crashworthiness (fuselage, seats and fuel cells)
Electronic Warfare System (EWS)
BALLISTIC & GUIDED WEAPONS
12- or 7-tube rocket launcher
20-mm cannon pod
7-mm machine gun pod
Growth potential for laser guided rocket
The H145M represents a significant addition to the German Air Force’s capabilities and offers a host of features that make it particularly well suited to missions carried out by the Special Forces Command (KSK – Kommando SpezialKräfte)