The successful capability enhancement for the H145M helicopter continues. In the first weeks of December 2017, Airbus Helicopters demonstrated the ability to fire laser guided rockets (FZ275 LGR from Thales) with its new H145M platform at the Älvdalen test range of the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration Flight test Centre. In a rough and challenging environment the system performed flawlessly.
The FZ275 LGR guided rocket closes the gap between the long-range high-value missiles and the shorter range guns/cannon and unguided rockets, thus affording a full range of precision effects from a platform to defeat soft and light armoured targets. This rocket complies with the armies’ requirement for precise and reliable ammunitions capable of reducing exposure to danger and avoiding collateral damage which nowadays causes injuries to civilians.
The electro-optical system (MX-15D) from L3 Wescam with embedded laser designation enabled a deviation of less than a meter for all rockets fired at a distance of up to 4.5 km. This 70mm laser guided air-ground rocket enhances the H145M’s engagement capabilities. It fulfils the precision strike needs of the armed forces worldwide by reducing the risk of collateral damage, particularly during asymmetric combat operations.
Following the success of the ballistic firing tests, held in Hungary in October 2017, the achievement of this new milestone with laser guided rockets is in continuity of Airbus Helicopters’ HForce development strategy to boost the H145M mission capability. Final qualification of the ballistic HForce system on the H145M is scheduled for end of this year, while the laser-guided rockets is planned for end 2019.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016 it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats and business aviation products. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.