The Hungarian Ministry of Defence has ordered 16 H225M multi-purpose helicopters equipped with the HForce weapon management system. Together with the helicopters, Airbus will also provide an extensive training and support package to ensure the highest level of operational availability. The deal, announced by the manufacturer on 14 December, will see the helicopters delivered to the Hungarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in support of the ‘Zrínyi 2026’ armed forces modernisation programme. HForce is the last-generation Airbus weapon system. It is modular and incremental, and can be fitted onto any military version of Airbus’ commercial helicopter range (H125M, H145M, H225M). 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.
The H225Ms selected by Hungary will be equipped with state-of-the-art communication capabilities and will be used for transport, combat search and rescue, and special operations missions. Budapest will use the 11t-class rotorcraft for troop transport, combat search and rescue and special operations missions. 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. Its state-of-the art avionics and four axis autopilot, exceptional range and payload capacities, combined with a large cabin designed to carry up to 28 troops and powerful air-to-ground and air-to-surface armament as well as electronic warfare systems allow the H225M to carry out the most demanding missions. The helicopter has an all-weather capability supported by its night vision goggle compatibility.
“I am thankful for the trust that the Hungarian Government has placed in our company to support its ambitious ‘Zrinyi 2026’ armed forces modernisation programme. Our teams have witnessed the professionalism and enthusiasm of the Hungarian experts and pilots whose contribution has been key to ensuring the success of this project” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This new contract confirms the H225M as a combat-proven, multi-role platform operated by the most demanding military customers worldwide. The Hungarian armed forces will be able to rely on the cost-efficient H145M / H225M tandem that will enable them to cover all of the major military missions, from light utility, tactical transport, combat search and rescue up to light attack.”
The Eurocopter EC725 Caracal, now called Airbus Helicopters H225M, is a long-range tactical transport military helicopter developed from the Eurocopter AS532 Cougar for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The H225M is currently in service across the globe with 88 helicopters having been delivered so far. It recently surpassed the 100,000 flight hour milestone, following its first delivery to the French Air Force in 2006. Since then the 11-metric-tonne H225M has proven its reliability and durability in multiple combat environments and crisis areas. With this contract, Hungary becomes the 9th country to have selected the H225M. A member of the multi-role Super Puma family of helicopters, this military variant is currently operational in France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and has recently been ordered by Kuwait and Singapore.