Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first H145 for the 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 H145 were ordered to renew the ageing Bell UH-1D search and rescue fleet operated by Germany’s armed forces, which are also responsible for SAR in the event of an aircraft accident on national territory and in national disaster management operations.
“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,” commented Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Deutschland.
The Bundeswehr maintains a fleet of SAR helicopters on permanent standby. The Bell UH-1D model currently in use by the Bundeswehr first entered service in the early 1970s. The new aircraft will be stationed at Niederstetten, Holzdorf and Nörvenich. The last of the H145 LUH SAR 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.