Airbus Australia Pacific has confirmed that it has responded to the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) request for information for a four-tonne class, quickly deployable, multi-role helicopter for Australian Special Forces with its H145M.

The H145M is the military version of the H145, which is considered to be the advanced member of the multi-purpose twin-engine category.

Airbus Australia Pacific managing director Andrew Mathewson said: “It is based on a commercial off-the-shelf platform with military-specific modifications and is an operationally proven, affordable and low-risk option for Australia.”

“The H145M programme and systems are based close to five million hours of flying experience with the H145 family of aircraft, which has over 1,300 units in service today.”

The firm’s response featured the provision of training, maintenance, logistics and engineering activities.

Mathewson added: “A comprehensive transfer of technology and skills will make Airbus Australia Pacific a regional centre able to proactively support Australian operational needs, and export this knowledge back into the wider H145M community.”

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“H145M can be equipped with an incremental modular weapon system to engage conventional and asymmetric threats.”

Airbus H145M is capable of rapidly transporting 11 personnel. Its compact footprint provides optimal agility, as well as providing high hot and flight performance.

It also offers full multi-role capability that enables support to missions, including aerial assault, aerial fire support, attack, ISTAR, CASEVAC and general utility tasks.

The helicopter is designed to offer high rotor clearance and shrouded Fenestron for operations close to obstacles.

H145M can be equipped with an incremental modular weapon system to engage conventional and asymmetric threats.

Furthermore, it is compatible with seven-tube and 12-tube rocket launchers, a 20mm cannon pod, a 12.7mm machine gun pod, and air-to-surface missiles. Configured to carry laser-guided rockets, it can be equipped with the HForce weapon management system for light-attack missions.

In July 2018, Airbus received an order from the Government of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for two H145M helicopters. These will be commissioned by the Luxembourg Defence in 2020.