The last three of six H145M were handed over to the Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana, FAE) on 20 April 2021, completing the deliveries of all six. The crews have been trained in Bavaria by Airbus. Escuadron 2211 Cobras, part of Ala 22 Guayaquil, are now ready to operate them. While test flying and training in Germany at Airbus’ Donauworth, Augsburg and Manching-Ingolstadt facilities, as well as visiting Memmingen and Oberpfaffenhofen, their military identities were taped over.
The Ecuadorian Air Force had received the first two of six Airbus Helicopter H145M Helicopters. Set to replace seven Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Dhruv helicopters that were purchased by the FAE in 2009, which retired just five years later, and to complement four AW119Ke helicopters purchased in 2019, the six H145s will be used in roles such as border surveillance, counter narcotics, high-altitude search-and-rescue (SAR), medical evacuation, and disaster relief, both day and night.
Airbus Helicopters has delivered two H145Ms to the Ecuadorian Air Force, the first military customer in South America for this multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter. A total of six H145s will be delivered over the next year. The H145 helicopters, known as “Cobra” in the Ecuadorian Air Force, will be assigned to the 22nd Combat Wing in Guayaquil. The contract includes training for 12 pilots and 15 technicians, as part of an in-country operational training programme. In Ecuador there are currently some 40 Airbus helicopters in operation with civil and military clients.
H145M is a militarised version of the H145; briefly designated as EC645 T2. It can be outfitted with ballistic protection, self-sealing fuel tanks, electro optical/infrared sensor, retractable pintle-mounted 7.62mm FN MAG machine guns or M134 miniguns, military-grade communications and navigational systems and an electronic warfare self-protection system. HForce weapon system for hardpoints scheduled to receive qualification in end of 2018. UH-72A Lakota is a militarised Light Utility Helicopter based on the basic EC145 model; operated by the US Army.