CATEGORY: Lightweight multi-purpose helicopter
There are few European helicopters that have been able to win a large number of orders from the U.S. Army: the H145M is such an aircraft. More precisely, it is his “father,” the EC145, which was ordered in 2006, and entered service as UH-72A Lakota: more than 400 of it are in service now. The next customer was the German army, which ordered 15 thoroughly rebuilt and armed EC645 T2 helicopters for the Special Forces Command (Kommando Spezialkräfte – KSK) in 2013. Since 2015 it has been known under the type designation H145M, one of which could be seen perform it in the air at the military technology show in Budaörs in May 2019.
It should be noted that the German Army’s obsolete UH-1D Huey single-engine Search and Rescue helicopters were also replaced with seven H145Ms equipped for the task.
An announcement on 29th June 2018 was one of the important stages in the renewal of the Hungarian rotary wing capability: 20 multi-purpose H145Ms will enter service at the 86th Szolnok Helicopter Base. The helicopters, equipped with the HForce system were given to Search and Rescue (5), light combat and fire support (5) and transport (10) assignments by the Szolnok pilots and technicians. However, it should be noted that thanks to their modular design and modern on-board computer systems, any machine can be re-configured into ”anything”.
The German procurement was soon followed by foreign orders as well. Besides Hungary, the largest customer, Ecuador (6), Luxembourg (2), Serbia (9) and Thailand (11) also opted for the H145M.
Ballistic panels are placed on the helicopters against small arms fire. The fuel tanks of the machines are coated with a self-sealing material, which swells and expands when it is exposed to the escaping fuel thus completely clogging or significantly reducing the size of holes created in the event of damage. The position of the engines reduces the infrared signature, which decreases the chances of being hit by shoulder-launched, short-range, infrared-guided anti-aircraft missiles. The H145M has a digitally controlled on-board electronic self-defence system, chaff, and flares. If crashing to ground, the people on board are protected by the slides that can dissipate significant energy when breaking off, as well as by the seats with a special energy-absorbing design.
További videós tartalmak a Magyar Honvédség Youtube csatornáján.
Author: Trautmann Balázs (honvedelem.hu)