Airbus Helicopters signed a contract Saturday with the Ukraine Ministry of Interior for 55 civil helicopters to be used for EMS, SAR, and other public services missions. The mix includes 21 preowned H225 heavy twins (currently owned by the French government) to be repurposed for search and rescue duty; 10 new H145s; and 24 H125s.
No value was announced, but at list prices the 10 H145s would cost $97 million and the 24 H125s would be $70 million. Preowned H225s typically sell for $13 million to $26 million each, not including the cost to repurpose them. The contract also has provisions for a local training and maintenance center.
Arsen Avakov, minister of internal affairs for the Republic of Ukraine, and Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even were present at the signing ceremony held in Kiev. Airbus Helicopters is part of the Airbus (Hall 1, Stand 1105; Outside Exhibit 13/25) presence this week at the Farnborough Airshow.
First deliveries of the repurposed H225s are expected before year-end. The heavy twin-engine rotorcraft is ideally suited to public services and SAR missions, with a takeoff sequence lasting less than five minutes. Auxiliary fuel tanks are available to extend mission range. Avionics include an autopilot and upper SAR modes.
The H145 is Airbus Helicopters’s latest entry in the four-metric-ton, twin-engine product range. It excels in hot and high operations, according to Airbus, and its compact size and small footprint enable mission flexibility. Nevertheless, its cabin is large enough to make the helicopter a candidate for a variety of civil missions, said Airbus.
Airbus’s best seller, the H125 is a light single selling for $2.9 million. Its performance has cast it in a multitude of mission roles, from aerial work to firefighting to law enforcement, search and rescue, and passenger transport. Airbus cites the helicopter’s maneuverability, visibility, and low cabin vibration levels as important selling points. An optimized maintenance plan contributes to reducing operating costs, it said.