Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2022-01-01

H225M, a Multi-Mission Marvel

For military forces looking for a combat-proven, multi-role helicopter, H225M — the most advanced member of Airbus’ military Super Puma/Cougar family — presents itself as the best bet. 
The reasons are comprehensible. 
 
The 11-tonne-category, twin-turbine H225M is already relied upon as a force multiplier by many air forces worldwide thanks to its outstanding endurance and fast cruise speed.
 
The crucial factor is also that the H225M enables military forces to deploy wherever and whenever needed. Operating both from ships and land – even in icing conditions – this helicopter has an all-weather capability supported by night vision goggle compatibility. 
 
The helicopter’s outstanding 700 NM range can be extended with air-to-air or hover in-flight refuelling capabilities.
 
It has proven its reliability and durability in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, Somalia, and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. The H225M is relied upon as a force multiplier by France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Singapore, UAE and Thailand.
 
Powered by two powerful Makila 2A1 engines, the five-blade rotor provides an exceptionally low vibration level, and the modular Spheriflex design of rotor mechanical assemblies allows for lower maintenance.
The H225M excels in a full range of military missions: Special operations, Combat search and rescue (CSAR), Tactical transport, Casualty / medical evacuation as well as in public service missions like in Search and rescue (SAR), Fire fighting, Coast guard and Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) protection.
 
Human-Machine Interface
The H225M is equipped with avionics and communication systems that reduce crew workload. Airbus has incorporated significant advances in terms of the human-machine interface, ensuring pilots have access to the most important information for the most effective decision-making.
 
The four-axis dual-duplex automatic flight control system (AFCS) provides outstanding precision and stability; its upper modes integrate the engine limitations in all-engines operative (AEO) and one-engine inoperative (OEI) situations. The AFCS also includes SAR flight patterns, instrument flight rules (IFR) procedures, and automatic approaches – and allows for fully automatic hovering, whatever the speed.
 
The flight crew has access to all navigation and piloting data through the new glass cockpit featuring four 10”x 8-inch enlarged displays, as well as ground proximity, traffic collision avoidance, while such information as electronic warfare indications and alerts are displayed automatically only when necessary.
 
An enhanced control cursor unit reinforces the interactivity between moving maps and the fight management system. This enhanced configuration enables reduced crew workload with easier, faster and streamlined mission management (route preparation/modification/selection, digital map/navigation management).
 
The dual flight management system offers better crew mission efficiency by providing more flexible task segregation between the pilot and mission commander. 
The model boasts a range with up to 3 tonnes of fuel tank capacity complemented by Air to Air Refuelling (AAR), or Hover In Flight Refuelling (HIFR) capabilities.
 
Designed to Survive
The H225M was designed right from the start for high survivability. Its airframe has reinforced structural main frames and is equipped with high energy-absorbing landing gear, along with self-sealing and crashworthy fuel tanks.
 
Cockpit protection is provided by armoured and energy-absorbing crew seats, while the cabin can be equipped with armour plating in the floors and walls, or fitted with armour-plated carpets. 
Contributing to the H225M’s survivability are a radar warning receiver, missile approach warning system, laser warning receiver and chaff/flare dispensers. The engine exhausts can be fitted with infrared suppressors, while protection against sand and ice is provided by inlet design and multi-purpose air intakes.
 
HForce Capabilities
H225M can include a variety of ballistic and guided weapons, along with associated targeting systems for both nighttime/daytime missions. It can act as an escorter with attack and firing support capabilities.
 
As with Airbus’ H145M and H125M, the H225M can be equipped with HForce, an armament system. Four different packages offer customers a choice of armament to expand the capability of the aircraft from that of ballistic weapons to the use of guided ammunition with firing through electro-optical system (EOS) or helmet mounted sight display (HMSD).
 
HForce is an exhaustive and flexible weapon system designed to meet the requirements of defence agencies seeking light attack mission capabilities or a complement to their existing fleet of specialised attack helicopters. 
 
It is the latest-generation Airbus weapon system. It is modular and incremental, and can be fitted onto any military version of Airbus’ commercial helicopter range (H125M, H145M, H225M). 
 
HForce offers a large array of weapons, modern and easy target acquisition and a high level of targeting accuracy, formerly reserved for high-end attack helicopters. It offers a multi-purpose mission computer interchangeable from one helicopter to another and a large choice of weapons (air-to-air, air-to-ground, ballistic or guided) to comply with any operational need. 
 
HForce is composed of: One central core unit for firing computation; Monocular helmet-mounted sight and display (HMSD) for pilot and gunner targeting and ballistic firing; Electro-optical system (EOS) for target identification and firing; Armament grips for armament management. The Weapons pods come with the following armament:
 
- Ballistic: machine gun, cannon, rocket; Guided: laser-guided rockets, air-to-ground missile, air-to-air missile (with growth potential).
The HForce’s flexible architecture permits the aircraft to be retrofit with any available armament. 
 
The gunner manages the helicopter’s weapons while the pilot flies, exactly like in an attack helicopter. HForce offers easy cooperation among the crew in service of target identification and acquisition, and a firing computation for drastic improvements in firing accuracy.
 
With HForce, multi-purpose helicopters are armed with the entire operational spectrum, allowing militaries that cannot invest in specialised helicopters to complete light attack missions. Defence agencies gain more flexibility in the management of their weapon stock because weapon pods allow arms to be interchanged from one aircraft to another.
 
Maintainability Factor
From home base to the most remote locations, Airbus conceived the H225M with maintainability in mind.
The Safran Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines are of modular design for easy maintenance, and Airbus’ Spheriflex fiberglass main rotor head is easy to adjust. The airframe includes a built-in step to access the engines.
Overall maintenance information is provided through the integrated health and usage monitoring system.
 
Range of Missions
Tactical transport and utility: The high load capacity and easy cabin access of the H225M, combined with fast cruise speed, long range and in-flight agility, make this aircraft an ideal  tactical transport helicopter for troops and cargo.
 
Its large cabin and heavy-lift performance enable the rotorcraft to carry up to 28 troops/personnel in cabin seats, or up to 14 troops/personnel on energy-absorbing wall-mounted seats. 
Operations are facilitated by two sliding cargo double doors and two large sliding windows for machine gun installation, which leave the main cabin doors unobstructed.
 
For cargo transport missions, the high-density cabin floor accommodates a sizeable internal load, while the maximum external load sling capacity is 4,750 kg.
Search and rescue: SAR missions require a fast, high-performance helicopter able to function in all weather conditions. The H225M can achieve these missions by offering superior performance, endurance, range with unrivalled fuel tank capacity, while keeping a free cabin, complemented by hover-in-flight refuelling capability. 
 
Able to take off in less than five minutes, followed by a high-speed cruise, the H225M reaches the scene rapidly, and is ready for a quick return to base when the assignment is completed. 
 
Its SAR crew benefits from the real-time display of power margins and unrivalled autopilot assistance specialised for search and rescue – including SAR modes with search patterns, and automatic transition to the hover with 1-metre precision starting from any flight attitude and the use of “ground speed” mode control from cockpit or cabin.
 
The low vibration levels provide a conducive environment for crew and passengers – which is important for crew efficiency on long missions and during the care of patients – while reducing airframe and equipment fatigue.
 
Combat SAR: The H225M offers unique personnel extraction capabilities with a 10-troop cluster (grappe) or basket device. The autopilot precision and assistance facilitates a reduced piloting workload for better mission efficiency, especially in the harshest conditions of the most demanding CSAR missions.
 
Medevac/CASEVAC: The H225M’s high load capacity and easy cabin access, combined with fast cruise speed, long range and in-flight agility, make this aircraft well-suited for medical evacuation and casualty evacuation duties (medevac/casevac).
 
Up to 11 stretchers and four attendants can be installed. Another possibility is the transport of two self-contained medical units with attendants.
The H225M track record reflects its success. The rotorcraft in service globally has accumulated more than 140,000 flight hours as of 2021.
 

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