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UK orders H135 helos for undisclosed role

The UK has ordered five H135 helicopters. While the type is already used by the Defence Helicopter Flying School (pictured), these new helicopters will not be used for training but for an undisclosed role. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom has ordered five Airbus H135 helicopters for an undisclosed role.

Airbus Helicopters announced the sale on 2 February, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) telling Janes it was unable to provide further details as to their intended purpose.

“We cannot comment on programme specifics for the H135s,” a ministry spokesperson said.

The light utility H135 has accommodation for seven (including two flight crew) in its standard configuration, and boasts a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 2,980 kg; a maximum payload of 1,360 kg; a top speed of 140 kt (259 km/h; 161 mph); a range of 342 n miles (633 km; 393 miles) with standard fuel and at normal MTOW; and an endurance of 3 hours 35 minutes.

With more than 130 units operated by military agencies worldwide, the three-tonne-class H135 has achieved more than 320,000 military training flight hours. Besides the UK, which already operates the type as a pilot training platform, military customers of the H135 (and the EC35 before it) include Australia, Brazil, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Nigeria, Spain, and Thailand.

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