The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered an additional five H135 helicopters from manufacturer Airbus Helicopters.
The H135s are equipped with two Safran Arrius 2B2Plus turboshaft engines and are capable of top speeds of 278km/h, with a maximum range of 609km. They have a maximum take-off weight of 2,980kg.
The UK has reportedly selected the H135 to replace the country’s ageing fleet of Aerospatiale Gazelle aircraft, which are due to be phased out by March 2024 according to FlightGlobal.
The UK military already operates 29 of the H135 ‘Juno’ helicopters for training purposes at its Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire, England. The school is where all UK military rotorcraft pilots are trained. The first Juno helicopter arrived at RAF Shawbury on April 2017. The DHFS also operates a fleet of seven Airbus H145 ‘Jupiter’ helicopters.
It follows another recent order in December 2021 by the Spanish Ministries of Defence and Interior for 36 H135s for operation by the Air Force, Navy, National Police, and the Guardia Civil.