The Airbus Helicopters H135M (formerly known as the Eurocopter EC635 T2e/P2e) is a multi-purpose light helicopter developed by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) as an enhanced military version of Airbus’ three-tonne-class EC135 twin-engine rotorcraft. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 8 people, including the pilot, and a range of military equipment or armaments. Equipped with a state-of-the-art cockpit and advanced technologies, the H135M offers the optimal safety conditions for basic and advanced training, while providing a platform that allows pilots to efficiently evolve to more complex helicopters. Its large, unobstructed cabin, oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable rapid loading/unloading – even with the rotors turning – which facilitates operations during time-sensitive missions. Thanks to a highly adaptable airframe, the helicopter is marketed for troop transport, medical evacuation, cargo transport, reconnaissance and surveillance and armed combat support missions.
Fitted with Airbus’ signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor and bearingless main rotor, this twin-engine helicopter delivers excellent performance, range and payload capacity. The sophisticated Helionix® avionics system, designed to provide enhanced safety and mission capability along with simplified maintenance, dramatically simplifies the pilot’s workload, while increasing mission efficiency and flight safety. The H135M has a choice of two engine types: Safran’s Arrius 2B2plus and Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PWC 206B3, both fitted with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). With a mechanically-resilient design – including redundant electrical, oil cooling and hydraulic systems, as well as a large array of optional defensive equipment – the H135M provides a reference in survivability. In addition, the crashworthy and energy-absorbing fuselage was designed to support passenger and crew safety.
The H135M’s compact size and low sound level make this light twin-engine military helicopter a discreet platform in armed scout military operations. The aircraft is offered with a weapon system that incorporates a multi-purpose mission computer; an electro-optical system with infrared/TV camera and laser rangefinder for observation and laser designation; a ballistic targeting system (helmet mounted system); and two multi-purpose weapon pylons. The easily removable multi-purpose pylons allow symmetrical as well as asymmetrical armament configurations, with twin air-to-ground INGWE missile launchers, 12-tube and 7-tube 70 mm unguided rocket launchers, a 20-mm cannon pod and 12.7-mm machine gun pod, along with potential for laser-guided rockets. In addition, two door-mounted 7.62 mm machine guns installed in the cabin provide protection during escort and extraction/insertion of troops in permissive environments.
Thanks to its ample cabin, the H135M can accommodate long cargo through the rear clamshell or side doors. In single pilot configuration, an internal volume of 5.9 cubic metres (208.38 cubic feet) is available for utility missions. Fitted with an external hook, it is a true workhorse and can provide up to an additional 1,200 kg (2,646 lb) sling load transport capacity with a takeoff weight of 3,000 kg (6,614 lb). Up to six passengers and two pilots can be accommodated in the H135M; its large, unobstructed windshield affords excellent visibility. The H135M’s spacious and unobstructed interior, flat floor and rear access doors for the loading and unloading of stretchers and medical equipment enable this helicopter to perform highly demanding medical evacuation and casualty evacuation (medevac/casevac) missions. Key features are the ability to perform both side and rear loading of patients, the airlift of two prone patients with state-of-the-art stretcher systems, the use of foldable stretchers for easy stowage, and the integration of medical equipment and devices for in-flight medical support up to intensive care.