The order for these helicopters to replace the ageing Bell UH-1D choppers was placed in December 2018. The first one was introduced into service with Transport Hubschrauber Regiment (THR) 30 in July 2020. The deliveries of the remaining machines by the Donauwörth factories of Airbus Helicopters were made according to schedule.
The helicopters are used for training and field testing and are available 24/7 at the Niederstetten and Nörvenich air bases for rescue operations. Operations with the latest H145 will begin shortly, as planned, at the third SAR station in Holzdorf.
The helicopters are militarized versions of the civilian H145T2, and designated H145 LUH SAR, which stands for Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue.
Among other features, these helicopters are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches, and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks, for example.
They are easy to identify thanks to the characteristic bright orange paintwork on their doors, featuring ‘SAR’ in blue lettering.