Ger­many’s Spe­cial Forces Com­mand to fly Euro­copter’s light util­ity he­li­copter

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

Euro­copter and the Ger­man Fed­eral Min­istry of De­fense have signed a con­tract for 15 EC645 T2 light util­ity helicopters (LUH) to be used by Kom­mando Spezialkräfte (KSK), Ger­many’s Spe­cial Forces Com­mand. With this or­der, the Bun­deswehr has now joined the cus­tomer list for the most pow­er­ful model in Euro­copter’s proven EC145 fam­ily.

The con­tract, worth a to­tal of 194 mil­lion eu­ros, in­cludes not just the helicopters but also the re­lated equip­ment pack­ages to al­low KSK to carry out its spe­cial op­er­a­tions mis­sions. De­liv­er­ies of the 15 air­craft be­gin in late 2015 and will be com­pleted by mid-2017.

“By se­lect­ing the EC645 T2, the Bun­deswehr is set­ting an in­ter­na­tional bench­mark,” ex­plained Wolf­gang Schoder, CEO of Euro­copter Ger­many, dur­ing the con­tract sign­ing. “They are putting their faith in proven tech­nolo­gies from mis­sions around the world. Among oth­ers, the US Army suc­cess­fully op­er­ates a fleet of more than 270 EC145s, the air­craft on which the EC645 T2 is based. This he­li­copter is an eco­nom­i­cal, low-risk and quickly avail­able so­lu­tion to carry out mis­sions for spe­cial forces that has al­ready won out sev­eral times against in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.”

The EC645 T2 LUH fea­tures a mod­ern dig­i­tal cock­pit with full night vi­sion and a 4-axis au­topi­lot. Its com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment in­clud­ing tac­ti­cal ra­dios en­ables in­ter­op­er­abil­ity among NATO forces. Spe­cial ops teams can quickly ac­cess the air­craft thanks to its spa­cious cabin, which has two large slid­ing side doors and dou­ble doors at the rear. The he­li­copter’s max­i­mum take-off weight is 3.7 tonnes. Troop safety is im­proved by the Fen­e­stron shrouded tail ro­tor, par­tic­u­larly for flight op­er­a­tions in con­fined land­ing sites and when­ever the ro­tor is turn­ing on ground.

In ad­di­tion, the mis­sion equip­ment pack­ages in­clude fast rope sys­tem, cargo hooks and hoists. The air­craft are also equipped with pin­tle ar­ma­ment and elec­tro-op­ti­cal sen­sors. A self-pro­tec­tion sys­tem and bal­lis­tic pro­tec­tion fur­ther in­crease crew safety and air­craft sur­viv­abil­ity. The he­li­copter can be strate­gi­cally air­lifted in an Air­bus A400M and quickly pre­pared for the mis­sion upon ar­rival in a theatre of op­er­a­tions.

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