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UK contracts H145 helicopters for Brunei, Cyprus missions

With the UK already flying the H145 with the UKMFTS training programme, it has acquired additional rotorcraft to take on its Brunei and Cyprus support missions. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom has contracted Airbus to deliver six new Airbus Helicopters H145 rotorcraft to be used in Brunei and Cyprus.

Announced by the Defence, Equipment, and Support (DE&S) branch of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 18 April, the GBP122 million (USD152 million) award will see the helicopters acquired to replace the Airbus Puma HC2s (Helicopter Cargo 2) that are supporting the British Army's training mission in Brunei following the recent retirement of the Bell 212s, as well as the Pumas HC2s that performing search-and-rescue (SAR) and support duties at Royal Air Force (RAF) Akrotiri in Cyprus following the recent retirement of the Bell 412s.

Known as Jupiter HC2 in UK military service, the D3-standard five-bladed helicopters are to be delivered later in 2024. The MoD already operates the D2-standard four-bladed H145 in the trainer configuration, with seven Jupiter HT1 (Helicopter Training 1) aircraft in use with the UK Military Flying Training System.

The H145 is the civil variant of the H145M military helicopter. Although classed as a civil helicopter, the H145 is flown in a training and support capacity by armed forces around the world as a support and SAR platform. According to Airbus, the H145 has a maximum speed of 150 kt (with a cruising speed of 138 kt), a range of 874 km (at cruising speed with no fuel reserves), an endurance of 4 hours and 50 minutes (at 65 kt, with additional fuel but no reserves), and a service ceiling of 20,000 ft (with a hover in ground effect of 16,000 ft and a hover out of ground effect at 18,000 ft).

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