German Special Forces Boost EC145 Order Book

 - July 19, 2013, 12:05 PM
More than 40 customers have ordered EC145 helicopters. The German Special Forces will operate a version designated EC645T2. (Photo: Eurocopter)

The German defense ministry ordered 15 Eurocopter EC645T2 light utility helicopters worth €194 million. They will be used by the Kommando Spezialkraefte, Germany’s Special Forces Command. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2015 and run through mid-2017.

According to Eurocopter, the day and night missions that these helicopters will perform include insertion and extraction of special-ops personnel, fire support and reconnaissance. Special-ops teams can quickly access the cabin via two large sliding doors and double doors at the rear, the company said. The Fenestron shrouded tail rotor contributes to troop safety, especially in confined landing sites, the company said. The mission equipment packages include a fast rope system; cargo hooks and hoists; pintle gun armament; and electro-optical sensors.

The EC645 belongs to the EC145 series, some 600 of which have been delivered to more than 40 countries. That total includes more than 270 for the U.S. Army and designated UH-72A Lakota. A total of 322 Lakotas are on order, but expected orders for more may not now materialize due to budget cuts.