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Lithuania acquires H145M helicopters for special forces and other roles

Lithuania has acquired three of the latest variant H145M D3 helicopters for its border guards. (Airbus Helicopters)

Lithuania has acquired three Airbus Helicopters H145M rotorcraft that its State Border Guard Service (Valstybės Sienos Apsaugos Tarnyba: VSAT) will use for special forces deployment and other roles.

Airbus announced the contract on 29 November, saying that the latest D3-standard H145M helicopters will also be used for search and rescue, disaster relief, medical evacuation, border patrol, firefighting, and for the transport of donor organs.

The announcement did not disclose a contract value or a delivery timeline.

The D3 standard of the H145M is most easily identifiable by the five-bladed main rotor assembly, in place of the previous four blades, for greater speed and/or lift capacity, as well as for easier maintenance. It has added an extra 150 kg lift capacity to take the aircraft's maximum take-off weight (MTOW) up to 3,800 kg, and also provides for easier maintenance due to reduced vibration.

As with the civil H145 D3, the military variant H145M D3 is powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines with dual-channel full-authority digital engine control (FADEC), providing more power for a higher MTOW, increased range, endurance, payload, temperature operating range, and service ceiling. The D3 variant has a maximum range of 653 km, which can be extended with an internal auxiliary fuel tank.

In terms of the H145M D3's multirole capabilities, the type is compatible with Airbus' HForce weapons system, should Lithuania wish to adopt that at a later time.

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