Airbus’ believes its H175M helicopter can fill the “capability gap” for the UK’s new medium helicopter.
The platform shares avionics with types already operated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), as well as enhancements bright across from other helicopters in the Airbus portfolio.
Colin James, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters UK described the H175M as an “excellent proven civil model.” He added: “It’s the perfect replacement for the our current fleet of Pumas that have been identified for retirement in the period between now and 2025. I think it’s something that can be delivered into the UK military to reduce the capability gap and just take that performance level that they currently have at medium a lift to the next level for the future.”
“Opportunity to revolutionise the helicopter market in the UK”
James said winning the contract to deliver the new medium helicopter would also create jobs, not only in Airbus, but across the UK supply chain. He explained: “Airbus and the UK government are strategic partners. Airbus has a massive manufacturing footprint, a massive contribution to the UK:£6 billion of turnover; twelve thousand jobs; 110,000 thousand jobs in the supply chain and a proven track record in export. It’s a real opportunity for us to revolutionise the helicopter market in the UK and set it up with a very, very strong base.”
He added the H175M could not strengthen the UK defence industry, to not only meet the MoD’s future requirements but also meet worldwide export market needs.
“The jewel in the crown for Airbus in the UK in terms of manufacturing is our site in Broughton, it produces all of the Airbus wings and landing gears for all Airbus commercial jets worldwide and we’ll be looking to take all of that innovative aerospace production capabilities and put that into the helicopter domain to make the product very, very compelling, not just for the UK but also for the export market.