Airbus Helicopters has introduced the first-ever US-manufactured H125 military variant. This is also known as the AH-125 and the MH-125 Ares.
The Airbus range of military helicopters is said to be one of the most mission-ready capable helicopters in the market and will feature options that will favor military purposes.
Airbus Helicopters banks on this new variant capturing the attention and the needs of military and para-public forces globally.
The new AH-125 Ares will be equipped and presented to the market as an armed variant of the aircraft, while the MH-125 is geared towards a multi-role helicopter, with more non-combatant capabilities for its operations.
These two aircraft are based on the capable H125 platform already mass-produced by Airbus. Scott Tumpak, Vice President of the Military Line of Business for Airbus U.S. Space and Defense stated:
“The AH-125 and MH-125 Ares helicopters will offer the capability, reliability, and flexibility needed by America’s allies and partners as they perform an array of rotary-wing missions, ranging from light attack to disaster response and other parapublic missions.”
He added: “They represent the latest evolution of Airbus’ H125 family of helicopters, and will be produced in the U.S. at Airbus Helicopters, Inc.’s facility in Columbus, Mississippi.”
A proven machine
Around the world, the H125 makes up nearly 80% of the single-engine market and has the highest number of certified modifications or supplemental type certificates (STC for short) available.
The new aircraft will have added weapons flexibility, which comes in handy in terms of re-configuration for multiple missions.
The configurations can be changed in less than 30 minutes from light attack, air assault, search and rescue, casualty evacuation, and disaster response, as well as other combat and para-public operations.
MAG Aerospace performs weapons installation, design, engineering certification, and manufacturing. The aircraft can provide space for numerous weaponry used by forces globally such as a .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun and unguided rockets and precision-guided weapons as a more lethal option.
In fact, with the MH- or AH-125 fully equipped, the configuration allows doors-on flight throughout the operation, which some helicopters are unable to do so.
Matt Bartlett, President of MAG Aerospace commented on the new variant H125: “MAG Aerospace is thrilled to team with Airbus to combine our unique platform engineering and modification capabilities with the world-class leader in the single-engine helicopter market.”
“It’s an honor to work with Airbus and expand our ability to serve our partners in the U.S. and around the world.”
Leading the pack
Airbus Helicopter is proud of its smallest helicopter product as the H125 itself is the world’s top-selling helicopter, with a long usage history from the American authorities, ranging from law enforcement, border patrol, and other government agencies.
In fact, the H125s is one of the most popular helicopters for official use in the U.S. with more than 100 in service. This makes the U.S. government the single largest H125 operator.
With the U.S. government being the single largest operator of the H125, it makes perfect sense for the variant to be built and made in the United States.