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MBB / Kawasaki BK.117
Airbus Helicopters H145
Airbus Helicopters H145M
GermanAF 76+14  
76+15 Airbus Helicopters MBB-BK117 D2M c/n 20139 - GermanAF - Hubschraubergeschwader 64 - Fassberg AFB in Germany - 13 June 2019 NH90-TTH '78+27' at Fassberg

The Airbus Helicopters H145M is the military variant of the Airbus Helicopters H145, a ten-seat multi-mission medium-weight class, twin-engine helicopter. Development of the H145 started in 1977 as BK117 in a co production between MBB from Germany and Kawasaki Heavy Industries from Japan. The first of four prototypes, two built by MBB in Donauwörth and two by Kawasaki in Gifu, flew in Germany on 13 June 1979. The first prototype built in Japan flew on 10 August 1979. The first production aircraft (built by KHI in Japan) flew in December 1981, and first deliveries took place early in 1983. Initial production was of the BK 117 A1, while the BK 117 A3 with higher max takeoff weight and enlarged tail rotor with twisted blades was certificated in March 1985. The BK 117 A4 with increased performance and improved tail rotor head was introduced in 1987. The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aerospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. Development of the EC145 started in 1997 in a co production by Eurocopter Germany and Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The EC 145 flew first in 1999 and is in production since 2002. The EC 145 is actual the MBB-BK117 C-2 and the German Government Agencies (LBA) Type Certificate was originally issued on 20 December 2000 to Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH. In July 2006, the U.S. Army selected the military variant of the EC145, the UH-145 (renamed UH-72A) as the U.S. Army's new multi-mission Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). Next to the Eurocopter Deutschland EC145 productionline in Donauwörth, the EC145 is manufactured by American Eurocopter LLC in Columbus, Mississippi, USA in the LUH configuration as UH-72A Lakota for the U.S. Army. In 2010, Eurocopter signed a agreement with Kazakhstan Engineering to create a 50/50 joint venture to assemble and customise EC145s in Kazakhstan. In 2011, Eurocopter officially launched an evolved version of the EC145, known first as the EC-145T2M or MBB-BK117 D2. The EC-145T2 has a significant increase of the aircraft's performance, featuring new Arriel 2E turboshaft engines, along with Eurocopter's Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, upgraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, dual-digital Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) and a 4-axis autopilot. EASA Type Certification was received on 16 April 2014. The EC645 T2 is the military version of the civil EC145 T2. With a maximum takeoff weight of 3.7 tons, the EC645 T2 can be used for a wide range of military operations including transportation, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fire support, and evacuations of wounded personnel. On 27 November 2014, the EC645 T2 flew first. This helicopter was destined fot the Bundeswehr: 15 of these helicopters were ordered for the German Air Force. In March 2015, Airbus Helicopters changed the marketing name for its entire product line to better reflect its closer allignment with ist parent company and simplify the naming convention for the portfolio. That is why the EC145 T2 helicopter has since been marketed as “H145” as stated in revison No.EASA.R.010 Issue: 06 of the Type Certificate Data Sheet for MBB BK117 dated 17 April 2015. The H145 programme offers special versions for utility work; Police work; VIP transport with Mercedes-Benz-style design; and the military variant H145M (EC645 T2 / BK117D.2M). Today, over 250 Airbus Helicopters H145 rotorcraft are in service. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the H145 helicopter is EC45.

As a result of the merger between the Eurocopter parents Aérospatiale-Matra; DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) and Construcciones Aeronàuticas Sociedad Anonima (CASA) in July 2000, the Eurocopter group became a division of the new formed EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space company). Taking off into 2014, EADS was rebranded as "Airbus Group". Uniting all its activities under a single brand, its helicopter division Eurocopter was rebranded as Airbus Helicopters on 8 January 2014.

On 11 July 2013, Eurocopter and the German Federal Ministry of Defense signed a contract for 15 EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) to be used by Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK), Germany’s Special Forces Command. On 8 December 2015, Airbus Helicopters delivered the first two H145M (EC645 T2M) helicopters (LUH SOF) to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). In May 2017, Airbus Helicopters MBB-BK117 D2m c/n 20139 was flown first with the Airbus Helicopters test-registration D-HADT. On 26 June 2017, this H145M was delivered to the German Air Force and entered service as 76+15 with Hubschraubergeschwader 64 (4.FlgStff), stationed at Fliegerhorst Laupheim.

page last updated: 22-06-2019
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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