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Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first H145 for the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr’s) search-and-rescue (SAR) service to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), several months before the agreed deadline. A total of seven helicopters of this type were ordered to renew the Bundeswehr’s ageing Bell UH-1D SAR fleet.
“We are delighted to be able to deliver this helicopter not only on time, but in this case even before the contractually agreed deadline,” said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Deutschland. “The H145 helicopters already operated by the Bundeswehr have proven themselves, in particular, through their very high levels of operational availability. We see a lot more possibilities for the flexible and reliable aircraft to perform a wide range of tasks in all branches of the armed forces.”
The Bundeswehr is also responsible for SAR operations in the event of aircraft accidents on German territory. It therefore maintains a fleet of SAR helicopters on permanent standby, and these helicopters are also available for use in national disaster management operations.
The Bell UH-1D model currently in use by the Bundeswehr first entered into service in the early 1970s. The new aircraft will be stationed at the sites in Niederstetten, Holzdorf and Nörvenich. The last of the H145 LUH SAR (Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue) helicopters will be delivered in early 2021, once training has been completed. Airbus Helicopters will also be responsible for logistics support, repair, and maintenance of the helicopters.
Among other features, the helicopters are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks, for example. They are easy to identify thanks to the characteristic bright orange paintwork on their doors, featuring “SAR” in blue lettering.