Airbus Introduces US-Built H125 Military Helicopter Variants
Airbus Helicopters has introduced the first US-made military versions of its H125 light utility rotorcraft family.
The AH-125 Ares will be configured as the H125’s armed variant, while the MH-125 will be a multi-role helicopter for various tactical operations.
The latest weapons integration capability enables modification of H125s between multiple mission sets in less than 30 minutes. Configurations include combat, air assault, search and rescue, light attack, and humanitarian operations.
Works for the AH-125 and MH-125 production will be carried out at the company’s facility in Columbus, Mississippi.
“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,” Airbus US Space and Defense Vice President Scott Tumpak stated.
MAG Aerospace for Weapons Installation
Airbus will work with Virginia-based MAG Aerospace on the weapons engineering, assembly, installation, and certification.
Ordnance for the new H125s will include .50-caliber 12.7-millimeter guns, unguided rockets, and precision-guided weapons.
The installations permit “doors-on” flight throughout tactical missions.
“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,” MAG Aerospace President Matt Bartlett said.
“It’s an honor to work with Airbus and expand our ability to serve our partners in the U.S. and around the world.”
H125 Family in US Military
Airbus says about 80 percent of the global single-engine helicopter market consists of its H125 helicopter line. The aircraft has the highest certified modifications available.
US Customs and Border Protection flies over 100 H125s, making the country the single largest operator of the vehicle.
Since 2006, over 480 UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota-variant helicopters have become operational in the US Army and National Guard.
The US Coast Guard also deploys nearly 100 MH-65 Dolphin-variants for anti-drug missions, homeland security, and humanitarian aid.