UK orders more Airbus H145 helicopters

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has ordered six additional Airbus H145 helicopters as part of efforts to renew its rotorcraft inventory and consolidate the number of aircraft types in service.

The new H145s will be deployed to Cyprus for emergency response duties and to Brunei to support jungle warfare training, replacing aging Airbus Puma helicopters currently used for those roles.

“We congratulate the MoD on this smart acquisition which simultaneously provides the right-sized helicopter for the Cyprus and Brunei requirements, represents excellent value for the UK taxpayer, and is another key step in the rationalisation of types in the transport helicopter fleet,” said Lenny Brown, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters in the UK.

The order expands the UK’s H145 fleet supporting the Military Flying Training System (MFTS) at RAF Shawbury, where all British military pilots train. There are currently 29 H135 and seven H145 helicopters used for training as part of the MFTS program.

“The H145 Jupiter, and its sister H135 Juno, continue to demonstrate exceptional reliability and versatility in the training role…and will bring these crucial attributes to their new tasks,” Brown stated.

The newly ordered H145s incorporate Airbus’ latest five-bladed rotor design, increasing useful load by 150kg compared to the four-bladed version. The bearingless main rotor requires less maintenance while improving ride comfort.

Equipped with Safran Arriel 2E engines and Helionix avionics with a four-axis autopilot, the H145 is known for its low noise levels and fuel efficiency. There are over 1,675 H145s operating globally with 7.6 million total flight hours.

Deliveries of the six helicopters are expected in 2025. The expanded H145 fleet is projected to reduce operating costs through economies of scale and streamline aircrew training across multiple UK helicopter types.

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