Belgium Buys 17 H145M Multi-Role Helicopters From Airbus

Belgium has signed a contract with Airbus to procure 17 H145M multi-role helicopters for its armed forces and federal police.

The move is in line with the country’s ongoing military modernization effort known as the STAR (Security, Service, Technology, Ambition, and Resilience) program.

According to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, which signed the deal on behalf of Brussels, the acquisition will provide Belgium with an “efficient tactical airlift capability” for special operations, medical evacuation, and humanitarian missions.

It will also enable commonality and interoperability with other NATO members in technical support, training, and execution of missions.

Fifteen of the 17 H145Ms under order will be handed over to the Belgian Army, while the rest will go to the police force. An option of three further H145M choppers can also be exercised for the country’s law enforcement agency.

‘A Key Asset’

Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines, the H145M can fly at speeds reaching 268 kilometers (166 miles) per hour, with a range of up to 663 kilometers (411 miles).

It is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite with high-performance 4-axis autopilot, which reduces pilot workload.

It also boasts a low acoustic footprint, making it the “quietest helicopter in its class.”

According to Airbus, the H145M can be reconfigured in minutes, from a light attack role with guided weapons to a special operations version that has fast rappelling equipment.

“We are proud that Belgium is joining the growing community of H145M users,” Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even said. “We are sure that the H145M will quickly become a key asset to the Belgian defense and security portfolio.”

The US Army remains one of the largest operators of the H145 family of helicopters with almost 500 units.

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