The French Minister of Armed Forces will purchase eight additional Airbus Helicopters’ H225M heavy twins as part of a government stimulus plan announced last year to support the nation’s aeronautical industry. For Airbus Helicopters, the plan also includes an order for two H145s for the Sécurité Civile and 10 H160s for the French Gendarmerie Nationale.
Airbus said the H225M order will secure 960 jobs during the next three years for Airbus Helicopters and its suppliers including Safran's Helicopter Engines, Power Units, and Electronic Defense divisions; avionics manufacturer Thales; more than 300 French Tier 1 suppliers; and a variety of small and medium enterprises.
First deliveries of the H225Ms are planned to start in 2024 and will be used to replace the Air and Space Force’s legacy Puma fleet. “We are very thankful to the French government for their support of the aeronautical industry through the stimulus plan. This is a win-win situation as the aircraft fulfill a real operational need for the French armed forces and this order allows Airbus Helicopters to secure jobs and key skills in the medium term,” said CEO Bruno Even.
Airbus noted that the worldwide helicopter market declined by 50 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the covid pandemic.