Airbus Helicopters signed a long-awaited contract with the Kuwait Ministry of Defense for 30 H225M Caracal helicopters. According to French media reports, it is worth more than €1 billion, including a support, services and training package. The deal is a welcome boost for the company, which has still not been able to finalize the sale of 50 H225Ms to Poland, after being selected by that country in April last year.
The potential sale to Kuwait was revealed in June last year. It consists of 24 for the Kuwait Air Force and six for a new squadron being established within the Kuwait National Guard. Airbus Helicopters said that they will be used for a wide variety of missions, including military transport, medevac, combat SAR and maritime operations. According to La Tribune, the H225Ms will be delivered with machine guns and equipped later with anti-ship missiles. It was not stated whether the machine guns would be part of the "HForce" package Airbus Helicopters is promoting. now being promoted by Airbus Helicopters. The H225M is the first helicopter in the Airbus range to fly with this "plug-and-play" weapons system.
“Our relationship with Kuwait dates back more than 40 years, with Super Pumas, Pumas and Gazelles having been delivered to the armed forces of Kuwait over past decades,” noted Guillaume Faury, CEOof Airbus Helicopters. The company acknowledged the support of French defense minister Yves Le Drian, in whose presence the contract was signed today during his visit to Kuwait. The emirate issued an RFP for new medium helicopters in 2013, to which AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) and Sikorsky are also believed to have responded with the AW149 and the S-70i, respectively.
The order brings the total of H225Ms sold to 138. Previous customers were Brazil, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand.