Airbus Helicopters’ newest lightweight military multi-role helicopter, the EC645 T2, has successfully completed its first flight. In the presence of representatives of the German Bundeswehr – which has ordered the first of this new helicopter type – the EC645 T2 demonstrated its capacities at the company’s Donauwörth location in Bavaria.
The EC645 T2 is the military version of the civil EC145 T2 that was introduced last summer. With a maximum takeoff weight of 3.7 tons, the EC645 T2 can be used for a range of military operations including transportation, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fire support, and evacuations of wounded personnel. The Bundeswehr ordered 15 of these helicopters in July 2013 for the German Special Forces Command (Kommando Spezielkräfte; KSK), according to Airbus Helicopters. The type was cleared to fly since April this year.
“This first flight is a milestone in the EC645 T2 program and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate this event with our customer,” said Ralf Barnscheidt, Head of the German Military Support Center. “We’re right on schedule to deliver the first EC645 T2 helicopters in the coming year.”
The new EC645 T2 is equipped with a digital avionics suite, including a 4-axis autopilot developed by Airbus Helicopters. This aircraft has been optimized for day and night missions as well as for those carried out in treacherous weather conditions. Its mission equipment range also includes a fast roping system for troops, cargo hooks, hoists, various weapons and electro-optical sensors. Ballistic protective equipment and an electronic countermeasures system that detects threats help protect the helicopter and crew. Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, the EC645 T2 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). What’s more, noise emissions significantly below international limits make the EC645 T2 the quietest helicopter in its class.
The Royal Thai Armed Forces recently also ordered five EC645 T2 helicopters.
Source: Airbus Helicopters