Airbus Helicopters’ H145M Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) attracted the interest of much of the auditorium at the KSK Symposium (Kommando Spezialkräfte; Special Forces Command) near Calw in the northern Black Forest region. Approaching the event directly from Airbus Helicopters’ Donauwörth production facility in Bavaria on Tuesday morning, the medium-sized multi-mission military helicopter offers a wide variety of tactical options for Special Forces operating in the most critical combat missions.
The rotary-wing platform can be flown in a wide variety of missions: armed scout; special operations; light fire support; search-and-rescue; command and control; battlefield reconnaissance; MEDEVAC/CASEVAC; and maritime missions. For light attack, the helicopter can be equipped with a variety of weapons, including a gun pod and canister-launched rockets. A crucial capability for the German KSK Special Forces Command, the LUH SOF can rapidly provide ground troops with firepower, neutralising or destroying opposing forces and supporting friendly forces in combat. Assigned to the Luftwaffe’s Helicopter Wing 64 (Hubschraubergeschwader 64; HSG 64) at Laupheim Air Base in the State of Baden-Württemberg, parts of the LUH SOF inventory deployable for Special Forces operations need to be outfitted with improved, precision-guided weapons, however. This scheme includes laser-guided 70mm rockets instead of the Bundeswehr’s inventory of unguided 70mm rockets. The weapon fit can also include a Dillon Aero Gun Pod, a self-contained M134D-H weapon system that utilises 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition with M13 links, with a 3,000-round magazine capacity and a rate-of-fire of 3,000 rounds per minute.