Airbus Helicopters has successfully delivered the last of fifteen H135 training helicopters to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), the company reported on Tuesday 15 December 2015. The first chopper was delivered six years ago.
Designated as TH-135 by JMSDF, the type started operations in 2011 and replaced older OH-6 Cayuse helicopters. The TH-135 is a variant of Airbus Helicopters’ civilian, light twin-engine H135. It is specially customized for the JMSDF’s specific requirements for advanced training missions. The H135 was selected as the replacement for its single-engine training helicopter fleet over its performance and easy maintenance which translates to high availability rate.
The H135 is one of Airbus Helicopter’s most successful light twin-engine helicopters in the 3-ton class, with a seating capacity of seven to eight passengers (five for TH-135). Features include the use of a bearingless main rotor and shrouded tail rotor. The results are enhanced cost effectiveness, noise reduction and ground safety.
In Japan, there are currently 80 H135s operating for emergency medical services, police work, electronic news gathering, VIP transport and business aviation.
2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense force H135 (Image © Koichi Nakagawa / Airbus Helicopters)