Lithuania orders three Airbus H145 helicopters for various roles
Lithuania has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for three H145M multi-mission helicopters to be used for special forces’ deployment and other roles.
Once delivered, the three new multi-role platforms will bring the total number of Airbus-manufactured helicopters operated by the eastern European country to 11. The contract value or delivery timeline were not disclosed by either Airbus or the Lithuanian government.
Airbus did outline the diverse spectrum of operations these helicopters have been designated for, however, including search and rescue, disaster relief and medevac, border patrol, firefighting, transport of donor organs and catering to the operational demands of Lithuania’s special forces.
‘We are allocating significant resources to provide our State Border Guard Service with state-of-the-art equipment such as the multi-mission H145 helicopters,’ said Agné Bilotaité, minister of interior for Lithuania.
‘Funded in part by the national budget and also thanks to European funding, the H145s will further strengthen the intelligence and response capabilities of our border guards, and contribute to Lithuania’s security,’ she added.
Airbus said that the new version of the helicopter added a new five-bladed rotor to the H145, increasing the useful load of the aircraft by 150kg.
The integration of new Safran engines, four-axis AFCS and Fenestron tail rotor was intended to improve safety and mission efficiency of the H145M. The platform’s unobstructed main cabin has been equipped with a flat floor and two rows of rails can be reconfigured.
The sliding side and rear clamshell doors, along with a high-set main rotor and Fenestron, offer 360° approachability for loading/unloading of armament, passengers or cargo, while the rotors are turning. It can seat two pilots and up to 10 passengers in crash-worthy, foldable seats.
Equipped with a generic weapon system, the H145M has been fitted with a mission computer, an EO system with TV, and IR cameras and a laser rangefinder (with laser designator as needed). It also features a targeting system with helmet-mounted sight and display, two multi-purpose weapon pylons and a choice of weapons load (12.7mm) machine guns, a 20mm cannon pod, 70mm rockets (conventional and laser-guided) or air-to-ground missiles.
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