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Brunei orders six H145M helicopters

The six Airbus H145M helicopters ordered by Brunei will be used in the close air support and aerial observation roles after entering service. (Airbus Helicopters)

Brunei's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters to acquire six H145M helicopters.

The contract was signed on 30 April, according to MINDEF. “All six helicopters will be introduced into service gradually, starting from the year 2026 to replace the Bolkow BO-105 helicopters, which have been retired from service,” MINDEF added.

According to the ministry, the H145M “helicopters will significantly enhance the Royal Brunei Air Force's (RBAirF's) operational capabilities for missions such as close air support (CAS), aerial observation, and various other operations”.

Other possible roles include combat search and medical evacuation and insertion of special forces, according to general information on the helicopter published by Airbus Helicopters. Acquisition of the H145M by the RBAirF could also provide Brunei with a future manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability – the H145M can support the inclusion of a command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) workstation, according to Airbus Helicopters.

The RBAirF is a modest force with at least 24 aircraft primarily used for logistics and transport. This includes two Airbus C295MW tactical transport aircraft, which entered service in 2024, plus 16 Sikorsky S-70 helicopters; one Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Integrator Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS), which is used for surveillance and reconnaissance; one Airbus CN235-110M transport aircraft that is scheduled to be retired; four Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs; and an unknown number of ageing Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III helicopters used for training.

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