The Spanish Navy has officially welcomed its first Airbus H135 P3H helicopter, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing modernization efforts of the Spanish Ministry of Defence. This groundbreaking acquisition is part of a larger contract signed in late 2021, which encompasses a total of 36 H135 helicopters. The Spanish Navy, known for its rich maritime traditions, has embarked on a new era of operational flexibility with the introduction of this versatile rotary-wing aircraft. The delivery of the inaugural H135 helicopter is a testament to the precision and timeliness of the acquisition process. The Spanish Navy is set to receive a total of seven H135 helicopters, each serving as a vital asset within the recently established Twelfth Squadron of the Aircraft Flotilla. This squadron is distinguished by the emblem of a white owl on its crest, symbolizing the keen vision and adaptability that these helicopters bring to the Spanish Navy.
The primary mission of these H135 helicopters will encompass training and utility operations, further enhancing the Navy’s capabilities. These versatile aircraft can fulfill a wide range of roles, including transportation and reconnaissance, and they are well-suited for operating in diverse environments, even in challenging conditions such as high-altitude and hot climates. The arrival of the H135 fleet is a significant step toward bolstering the Navy’s versatility and effectiveness in carrying out its various missions. The H135 is already in service with the Spanish Army’s training unit (ACAVIET) and the Emergency Battalion (BHELEME II). The Spanish Air Force 78th Wing at the MIlitary School of Helicopters in Armilla (Granada) also receive the first of the seven H135 units foreseen in the contract.
The Airbus Helicopters H135 (formerly known as EC135) is a twin-engine civil light utility helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters. It is capable of flight under instrument flight rules (IFR) and is outfitted with a digital automatic flight control system (AFCS). As a light, twin-engine rotorcraft, it offers unmatched versatility. Its unique capabilities enable it to perform missions that require precision and reliability, including landing in remote or confined areas. The H135 can also carry a substantial payload over extended distances, setting it apart from other rotorcraft in its category. The H135M, certified under the name Eurocopter EC635, is a military variant.The AIRBUS H135 P3H of the Spanish Navy incorporate exclusive modifications that enable them to operate on ships, such as pressure refueling, manual folding of the main rotor, reinforced anti-corrosion treatment and float system.
In preparation for their forthcoming duties, Spanish Navy crews will undergo rigorous training at Albacete. The arrival of the second H135 helicopter is expected later this year, heralding the expansion of the The Spanish Navy’s rotary-wing fleet. The year 2024 will witness the commencement of naval trials, including ship-based take-offs. The ultimate objective is to attain Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by the end of 2024, making these H135 helicopters integral components of the Spanish Navy’s operational capabilities. The introduction of the H135 light helicopters marks a pivotal moment for the Spanish Navy, underscoring the commitment to modernization and enhancing its readiness to meet a spectrum of operational demands. With their diverse capabilities and adaptability, these helicopters will undoubtedly play a vital role in safeguarding Spain’s maritime interests and bolstering the nation’s defense posture.