Airbus Helicopters UK pushes with its new H175M medium-lift helicopter, a derivative of the commercial H175 and a type that the company sees as an ideal candidate for the U.K.’s emerging New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement. This project is aimed at replacing the Royal Air Force’s fleet of Airbus Puma HC2s by 2025, with as many as three other types also set to be replaced under a fleet recapitalization and rationalization plan within the United Kingdom (U.K.) Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) rotary-wing fleets. Airbus is eager to go head-to-head with the Leonardo Helicopters AW149 and any other contenders that may emerge for the NMH project.
Derived from Airbus Helicopters’ proven H175 civil rotorcraft, the multi-role H175M delivers optimum performance for a full range of missions – from sea level to hot-and-high operating environments. The military version fully benefits from the H175’s market position as the world’s most capable super-medium-weight helicopter. More than 145,000 flight hours have been logged by the H175 fleet in such operations as harsh North Sea conditions, as well as thousands of missions flown by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service in search and rescue (SAR), airlift and medical evacuation.
The H175M meets and exceeds military forces’ requirements in the super-medium helicopter category for troop transport, combat SAR missions and the deployment of special forces. The H175M’s 12 cubic metres of cabin space is the largest on the market for a helicopter of its size. With its underfloor internal fuel tanks providing a combined capacity of over two metric tonnes – the most fuel capacity in its class – the H175M boasts an impressive radius-of-action of nearly 300 nautical miles and an endurance close to six hours. Full integration of these fuel tanks into the airframe eliminates any impedance of cabin capacity.
Airbus Helicopters has announced the first members of H175M Task Force – the UK-based industry team created to offer, supply and support the British-produced H175M helicopter for the U.K.’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement. Leading aerospace companies Babcock International, Martin-Baker, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) and Spirit AeroSystems stepped forward as Strategic Partners in the new teaming. The addition of Babcock, Martin-Baker and Spirit AeroSystems will increase the sovereign U.K. elements of the Airbus proposition sourced from across the country. Babcock will fulfill the critical role of support partner for the H175M in UK service at military operating locations.