The German Army has taken delivery of its seventh and final H145 helicopter for search and rescue (SAR) missions.
The final delivery took place nine months after the first unit entered service in July 2020. The German defense procurement agency (BAAINBw) noted that all airframes were delivered within two years of contract signing.
The helicopters are used for training and field testing and are available 24/7 at the Niederstetten and Nörvenich air bases for rescue operations. Operations with the new H145 LUH SAR at the third SAR station in Holzdorf are expected to begin shortly.
“We are pleased that we have completed this order from start to finish on time and within budget and that the commissioning is proceeding according to plan,” said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Germany.
In the SAR configuration, the H145s are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches, and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks.
The seven H145s are replacing the ageing Bell UH-1D search and rescue fleet in service with the German Armed Forces’ search and rescue branch. The Bell UH-1D model first entered into service in the early 1970s.
In addition to a search and rescue missions, the H145 is used by the country’s air force for special operations missions. There are currently 15 LUH special operations forces (LUH SOF) helicopters in service, while more could be potentially acquired for other roles.