Airbus Offering H135 to US Navy as Trainer Fleet

Airbus Offering H135 to US Navy as Trainer Fleet. Airbus Helicopters will launch the HM-2 lightweight H135 to the US Navy for the program of replacement of service trainers.

To be offered through the US subsidiary Airbus Helicopters Inc, the H135 would replace the current fleet of Bell TH-57 Sea Rangers.

If selected, the H135 will be assembled in Columbus, Mississippi, where the aircraft builds UH-72A Lakotas for the US Army.

h135 airbus helicopter us navy

Airbus Offers H135 to US Navy as Trainer Fleet, pic: Airbus Helicopter H135

The USN has not yet specified whether it wants a helicopter with one or two engines for the requirement.

However, Airbus Helicopters believes, based on a request for information published last year, that the Navy will request a certified aircraft for instrument flight rule operations with a single pilot, which will favor the twins.

He points out that the H135 already has the pertinent approval of the Federal Aviation Administration of the USA. However, if the navy insists on a single engine model, Airbus Helicopters has other options, the most likely being the H125, which is already built in Columbus.

The H135 will face competition from Bell 407GXi and Leonardo Helicopters TH-119, a military version of the AW119Kx; both are single engine models.

According to the RFI of last July, the USN will acquire 105 aircraft for the replacement effort. The service is expected to issue a draft of the request for proposals in the fall, with the full contest launched about a year later. Deliveries would begin in the period 2020-2021. Previous clients for the rounded training H135 include Australia and the United Kingdom.