Airbus ‘armed civvie’ chopper first test fire

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Airbus Helicopters recently completed a ballistic development test of an HForce weapon system on a H145M in Hungary.

CAPTIONH145M helicopter with ‘plug-and-play’ weapon systems attached. Airbus Helicopters photo by Anthony Pecchi.

The tested system included guns (FN Herstal HMP400), unguided rockets (Thales FZ231) and cannons (Nexter NC621) as well as an electro-optical targeting system by Wescam (MX15) and a helmet-mounted sight display by Thales (Scorpion).

All planned and required tests were performed in a tight and demanding time schedule.

H145M
Watch a video of the test firing here.

Head of H145 Programme Axel Humpert said this was an important milestone towards the qualification of HForce on the H145M, which is planned for end 2018 .

“The positive results of this first ballistic development test are the outcome of a very good and professional cooperation between all parties involved, especially with the Hungarian Ministry of Defence,” Mr Humpert said.

Next steps before the qualification of HForce on the H145M are the development testing of laser-guided rockets in Sweden before the end of this year as well as additional live-firing trials in the European summer 2018.

HForce is an integrated weapon system that can be ‘plug-and-play’ fitted into Airbus Helicopter’s military platforms such as H125M, H145M and H225M.

Qualification of the core HForce system is on track for end 2017, following an extensive flight-test campaign carried out on a H225M testbed.

The H145M is a militarised version of the H145 that’s been around since 2014.

Airbus touts the H145M, with a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes, as an agile light-attack helicopter that “perfectly matches the needs of special forces”.

Germany, the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Thailand have purchased the helicopter.

 

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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