Airbus Helicopters has been selected to supply a fleet of H135 and H145 helicopter for military helicopter pilot training in the UK, it was announced on Friday 20 May. The contract, worth 500 million GBP over 17 years, will see Airbus Helicopters deliver the helicopters and an integrated support solution over the course of 18 months, ready to start training in April 2018.
Over the last 35 years, all UK military helicopter pilots have been trained on Airbus Helicopters, initially with the Gazelle and subsequently with the H125 ‘Squirrel’. From 2018 onwards, the new H135 and H145 choppers will prepare 121 pilots and 99 rear crew per year, coming from both the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.
The helicopters are already in use as military training assets in the US, Australia and Germany among others. The H135 for the UK will be first to be equipped with Helionix, Airbus Helicopters’ advanced avionics kit which increases performance and improves safety.