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Airbus pitches H175M commonality, enhancements for UK NMH bid

The H175M demonstrator was showcased to Janes and other media, with senior programme officials and test pilots highlighting the qualities that they feel will stand it in good stead to secure the UK's New Medium Helicopter requirement. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus has identified system commonalities and enhancements to be transferred across from its other helicopter types as primary differentiators for its H175M offering to the United Kingdom.

Showcasing the company's H175M demonstrator platform at Oxford Airport on 28 September, a senior programme official said that avionics commonality with types already operated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), as well as enhancements to be cross decked from Airbus' latest portfolio of rotorcraft, should stand the type in good stead for the UK's soon-to-be-launched New Medium Helicopter (NMH) competition.

Arnaud Roux, Operational Marketing Manager at Airbus Helicopters, said that the military H175M being proposed for NMH will utilise the same Helionix avionics suite as the H135 Juno and H145 Jupiter platforms already in use with the UK Military Flight Training System (UKMFTS), and that the synergies are clear. He added that many of the enhanced features of the H160 rotorcraft that is being developed into the military variant H160M for the French armed forces will be carried over to the H175M also.

“The Helionix [suite] is already on the H135 and H145 platforms flown by the UKMFTS, and there is a big advantage in this for the UK for continuity of training through to the H175M. Helionix is basically just software, and that means that as soon as it is developed for one type [of Airbus helicopter] it can easily be put into any other,” Roux told Janes

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