Airbus Helicopters has announced the first members of H175M Task Force – the UK-based industry team created to offer, supply and support the British-produced H175M helicopter for the UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement. On the opening day of the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, Gloucestershire, leading aerospace companies Babcock International, Martin-Baker, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) and Spirit AeroSystems stepped forward as Strategic Partners in the new teaming. The addition of Babcock, Martin-Baker and Spirit AeroSystems will increase the sovereign UK elements of the Airbus proposition sourced from across the country. Defence and helicopter specialist Babcock will fulfill the critical role of support partner for the H175M in UK service at military operating locations.
Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK, Lenny Brown, said: “These agreements, signed with some of the most respected aerospace companies in the UK and internationally are a clear sign of the robustness and enduring value to the nation of our proposal. If selected the H175M Task Force will create hundreds of new jobs and sustain thousands more throughout the UK rotary supply chain in the years ahead. The H175M has the potential to reinvigorate the UK’s helicopter industry by addressing an export market estimated at nearly 500 aircraft worldwide.”
Phil Craig, Manager Director of Babcock Aviation UK, said: “Babcock are extremely pleased to be part of the H175M Task Force competing to deliver the New Medium Helicopter requirement for the UK Ministry of Defence. Collaborating with Airbus as part of this strategic task force enables us to partner with industry specialists and leverage our expertise in aerospace engineering and in-service support, delivering resilient operational capability for the UK MoD. As a people-focused organization, we look forward to investing in the future of UK Defence and to provide sustainable, long-term employment opportunities that will benefit local communities and the wider economy.”
Martin-Baker Director of Business Development Andrew Martin said: “Martin-Baker is proud to have had our life saving troop seats selected for the H75M platform. Airbus and Martin-Baker have worked together for the last 20 years and look forward to continuing this partnership. We are delighted to be working with Airbus Helicopters in its effort to supply the Ministry of Defence with new H175M helicopters powered by our PT6C-67E engines,” said Nicolas Chabée, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Helicopters at Pratt & Whitney Canada. “The UK’s New Medium Helicopter programme will be ideally served by this exceptional pairing with proven reliability, dispatch capabilities and mission flexibility. Pratt & Whitney has a leading presence in the UK, serving over 250 operators flying 1,250 engines that power 660 aircraft. We understand military missions and have decades of experience powering them.”
“Spirit AeroSystems is delighted to utilise its advanced composites design and manufacturing expertise at both its Belfast and Prestwick facilities to support H175M Task Force. We’ve been working for many years with Airbus, supplying key structures, including fully integrated, for multiple commercial aircraft programmes and, more recently, on the exploration of disruptive aircraft design. We’re excited to collaborate on another new platform, and to leverage our design-for-manufacture capability to offer innovative, cost-effective solutions for defence. We look forward to joining other strategic partners on developing a proposal with the potential to help shape the future of UK military rotorcraft,” said Sir Michael Ryan, CBE, Vice President, European Space & Defence, and Government Affairs, Spirit AeroSystems.
Martin Baker, at Denham, Middlesex, with more than 70 years of aerospace experience, will provide specialist troop seating and cabin integration services. In Belfast, Northern Ireland and Prestwick, Scotland Spirit AeroSystems, already an Airbus partner on the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft, will undertake extensive detailed design and manufacturing activities on the H175M. In addition, Pratt & Whitney Canada, is formally partnering in the team for which it supplies and supports the PT6C-67E turboshaft engines from its market leading family of powerplants. Further partners and suppliers from across the UK will be announced as the bid progresses based on the H175M helicopter to be produced at Broughton, North Wales. The H175M is a modern and exceptionally capable helicopter with the biggest cabin in its class, outstanding range and endurance, and low through-life costs.