The German Federal Police has taken delivery of three Airbus H215 helicopters, while the Bundeswehr has ordered seven H145s in search and rescue configuration.
The German Federal Police has taken delivery of three heavy Airbus H215 helicopters, with a fourth to follow in June 2019. The twin-engine multi-role Super Pumas will enter operation at the beginning of 2020 supporting the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies (CCME), which oversees maritime missions off Germany’s coast.
These aircraft will complement the German Federal Police’s existing fleet of Airbus helicopters, which includes 42 H135 family helicopters, 19 Super Pumas (AS332 L1s), 19 H155s and 8 H120s.
Meanwhile, the German defence procurement agency, BAAINBw, has ordered seven H145 helicopters to replace the ageing Bell UH-1D search and rescue fleet operated by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). The aircraft will be delivered in 2020.
According to an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Bundeswehr is responsible for search and rescue operations in the event of aircraft accidents on German territory. It maintains a fleet of search and rescue helicopters on permanent standby for this purpose. These helicopters are also available for use in national disaster management operations.
The H145 LUH SAR (Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue) helicopters are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks for example.
The Bundeswehr has operated the military version of the H145, the H145M, since 2015. The Bundeswehr currently operates 15 H145Ms as light support helicopters for the Special Forces.