Aerial Warfare

NSPA Supports Belgian Ministry of Defence with Procurement of H145M Helicopters

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NSPA Supports Belgian Ministry of Defence with Procurement of H145M Helicopters
NSPA Supports Belgian Ministry of Defence with Procurement of H145M Helicopters

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will support the Belgian Ministry of Defence with the procurement of a fleet of 15 H145M helicopters for its Army and 2 helicopters for its National Police. The contract was awarded to Airbus Helicopters and it includes the necessary equipment and services. The contract signature ceremony took place on the margins of the world’s leading trade show for defence and security, Eurosatory 2024, in Paris. Following the activation of Belgium’s membership to the Helicopters Support Partnership, NSPA will acquire the helicopters and the associated support contract for an initial period of five years. The first aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2026.

The purchase of fifteen Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) is one of the key elements of the Belgian Ministry of Defense’s STAR plan (Security, Service, Technology, Ambition and Resilience). Through this purchase, the Belgian Defence will obtain an efficient tactical airlift capability for Special Operations and a medical evacuation capability by air. Leveraging the same platforms will enable commonality and interoperability in terms of technical support, training and execution of missions between the Belgian Defence and the Belgian Federal Police. The new helicopters will also be deployed in support of other Defence units, for Aid to the Nation, for humanitarian missions and to protect Belgian airspace during NATO and EU summits.

Ms Stacy A. Cummings, NSPA General Manager with the NSPA and Airbus teams at Eurosatory.
Ms Stacy A. Cummings, NSPA General Manager with the NSPA and Airbus teams at Eurosatory. (Photo by NSPA)

“We are proud that Belgium is joining the growing community of H145M users. In Europe, the robust multi-role helicopter is becoming the reference for tactical airlift capability, special operations, medical evacuation missions. We are sure that the H145M will quickly become a key asset to the Belgian defence and security portfolio,” Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters said.

The Airbus Helicopters H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) is a twin-engine light utility helicopter developed and manufactured by Airbus Helicopters. Tthe H145 is based upon the MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 C1, which became a part of the combined Eurocopter line-up in 1992 with the merger of Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm’s helicopter division of Daimler-Benz into Eurocopter. The helicopter was earlier named EC145; an updated version, EC145 T2, was renamed H145 in 2015. The helicopter had significant update in the 2020s, an updated version with a 5-blade main rotor and fenestron (ducted tail rotor) entered production. The H145 is a twin-engine aircraft and can carry up to nine passengers along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. Military variants of the helicopter have also been produced under various designations, such as H145M or UH-72, and have been used for training, logistics, medical evacuation, reconnaissance, light attack, and troop-transport operations.

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