Airbus Helicopters has recently completed a ballistic development test of an HForce weapon system on a H145M on Pápa Airbase in Hungary. The tested system included guns (FN Herstal HMP400), unguided rockets (Thales FZ231) and cannons (Nexter NC621) as well as an electro-optical targeting system by Wescam (MX15) and a helmet mounted sight display by Thales (Scorpion). HForce is an innovative, incremental and integrated high performance weapon system that can easily be fitted (“plug and play”) into Airbus Helicopter’s military platforms such as H125M, H145M and H225M for ambitious and smart military operations where flexibility of mission equipment is a vital criterion.
Drawing on experience with the Tiger attack helicopter, Airbus has developed an off-the-shelf solution to address a large scope of customers’ armament needs. Conceived as a modular and incremental system, HForce offers a multi-purpose mission computer interchangeable from one helicopter to another and a large choice of weapons (air-to-air, air-to-ground, ballistic or guided) to comply with any operational need. The technically-advanced solution takes into account the different aspects of firing accuracy: weapon recoil, centre of gravity, ground clearance or vehicle separation.
HForce is composed of:
One central core unit for firing computation
Monocular helmet-mounted sight and display (HMSD) for pilot and gunner targeting and ballistic firing
Electro-optical system (EOS) for target identification and firing
Armament grips for armament management
Weapons pods with the following armament:
– Ballistic: machine gun, cannon, rocket
– Guided: laser-guided rockets, air-to-ground missile, air-to-air missile (with growth potential)
The H145M is a proven military helicopter, derived from the H145 ( Eurocopter EC145), a rugged workhorse and best in its class for rough EMS and police missions. Military variants of the helicopter have also been produced under various designations, United States Army’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) UH-72 Lakota. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes the H145M is an agile light attack helicopter. It perfectly matches the needs of Special Forces, can be used for a wide range of tasks, including armed reconnaissance, ground fire support, anti-tank warfare, escort, tactical transport, MEDEVAC and CASEVAC. Customers for the H145M include Germany – which in June received their 15th and final H145M LUH SOF helicopter on time and on budget – as well as the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Thailand.