EUROSATORY 2022 | Presentation of Airbus H145M with SPIKE ER-2 missiles and complete armament suite – VIDEO & Photos
Defence Redefined
Published on 21/06/2022 at 13:04

*Christos Loizou

During the Eurosatory 2022 International Defence and Security Exhibition in Paris, DEFENCE ReDEFiNED had the opportunity to talk to the Airbus H145M program manager, Mrs. Constance Pinsdorf. The helicopter showcased at Eurosatory was equipped with, among others, the Spike ER-2 anti-tank missiles made by the Israeli company Rafael.

In the video below (end of the article) you can watch a full presentation of the helicopter by Ms. Pinsdorf and a demonstration of, among others, the armament packages it can carry. It is noted that the helicopter in question is also of interest to the National Guard and a relevant article (from 2021) can be found at the link below. Today’s publications in the Cypriot press state that this helicopter has been finalized as National Guard’s choice to replace the Mi-35. Having contacted the Ministry of Defence, DEFENCE ReDEFiNED was informed that no comments will be made, until the signing of any agreement. 

Also read: National Guard Possible options for new helicopters

Eurosatory 2022 was the debut for the H145M with this armament configuration. Tests and evaluations of this version took place at a Romanian firing range in Cincu, in May this year with the participation of guests from Serbia, Skopje, and the Federal Republic of Germany. So far, the helicopter users are beyond Germany which operates 15 helicopters, Hungary with 20 helicopters, Serbia with 9, Thailand with 5, and Luxembourg with 2.

The goal of the shooting campaign in Romania was to test in practice the integration of the SPIKE system with the H145M but also to examine the effects of this weapon system on the aerodynamic characteristics of the helicopter. At the same time, it was a demonstration of the capabilities of the HForce modular system, which Airbus is offering as an armaments package for the H145M and H225M helicopters.

Airbus HForce®️

The H145M (Military) comes from the successful version of the H145 (civilian version) and offers a wide range of tactical options on the battlefield. For example, it offers the ability to quickly transfer troops and supplies with minimal delay, to quickly engage enemy forces on the ground, provide Close Air Support (CAS)  and collect and process information.

The power, range, endurance, and useful payload of the H145M provide a variety of deployment capabilities, especially when the helicopter operates in sandy and dusty environments at 6,000 feet and in 95°F/35°C. 

The H145M features an upgraded transmission and the unique Fenestron® tail rotor for improved cruise control. It is noted that the Fenestron® tail rotor was first installed in the legacy Gazelle helicopter which has also been in service with the National Guard since 1988.

Also read: Gazelle SA342L1 | The legacy helicopter of the National Guard and its upgrade options – Photos & VIDEO


A key feature of the H145M is the variety of the available armament packages, which can be quickly installed and uninstalled, depending on the requirements of the mission. Within minutes, the helicopter can be reconfigured from a means of transporting troops to a means of search and rescue missions with winch and rescue stretchers or a light attack helicopter with various weapons options. In particular, the armament suite presented at the Eurosatory exhibition, as you can  see in the video, includes: 

  • The HMP 400 0,50″ machine gun pod made by FN featuring a firing rate of 950 – 1,100 rounds per minute and a supply of 400 rounds (black pod in photo)
  • The Nexter NC 621 20 mm cannon pod with 180 or 250 rounds of ammunition and a firing rate of 750 rounds per minute (khaki pod integrated into the left helicopter multipurpose pillar)

  • The FZ606 digital smart rocket launcher made by the Belgian FZ (Thales). This launcher can be armed with a combination of guided or unguided 70mm rockets (max 6)
  • The FZ231 (Thales) unguided rocket launcher capable of combining 9 unguided and 3 laser-guided FZ275 LGR rockets with 70mm caliber
  • SPIKE ER-2 anti-tank missiles (Max 8) with a range of 15km +
  • Machine guns mounted on multi-purpose pylons at the sliding doors (right and left) of the H145M fuselage

The range of the FZ275 LGR (Laser Guided Rockets) with Lock on Before Launch (LOBL) capability ranges from 1500-7000 meters with a circular error (CEP) of less than 1 meter (at a distance of 6 kilometers). In addition, the rocket has the ability to Lock After Launch (LOAL) or even after designation from a remote source, such as a soldier on the ground or another flying platform. This flexibility gives the H145M better survivability and the ability to engage without visual contact with the target.

The SPIKE ER- 2 missile is an upgrade of the 5th generation missile SPIKE ER (of the SPIKE family of missiles) which is launched from land, sea, and air platforms (helicopters). The missile comes with a maximum range of 16 kilometers (RF data link). SPIKE ER-2 can accurately engage various types of targets such as tanks, armored vehicles, infrastructure, and surface vessels. 

In addition to Fire-and-Forget technology, it has the ability to select targets in flight. An electro-optical detector with a CCD day camera and an IIR infrared sensor are installed on the missile’s head. The weight of the missile – depending on the warhead used (HEAT or PBF) – is around 34 kg.

The main technical features of the H145M include:

  • Maximum cruising speed: 240 km/h
  • Maximum range: 638 km
  • Maximum endurance: 3 hours 32 minutes
  • Maximum carrying capacity: 10
  • Operators: 2 (1 Pilot and 1 Operator of weapon systems installed on helicopter pylons)
  • Powerplant: 2 X Safran Arriel 2E turboshaft engines with 894 hp each
  • Possibility of carrying external load with sling: 1,600 kg
  • Maximum take-off weight: 3,800 kg
  • Useful payload: 1,905 kg
  • Flight Ceiling: 20,000 ft to 6,096 metres
  • MUT-T (Manned-Unmanned Teaming) capability 

Furthermore, as mentioned above the H145M can be equipped with the Airbus HForce module. HForce is a modular and cost-effective weapon system that can be used in any military version of the Airbus Helicopter Series (H125M, H145M, and H225M). 

In total, three different packages are available that increase the capabilities of the helicopter in question:

  • Armed Scout for engaging targets from helmets (HMSD). Possibility to select a pod with a 0.50″ machine gun or a 20 mm cannon or a combination of a 20 mm cannon and a rocket launcher (7 or 12 rockets)
  • Close Air Support with the use of HMSD and electro-optical sensors (EOS). Guided or unguided rockets and machine guns are available
  • Attack version by using guided weapons such as SPIKE ER-2 missiles and FZ275 LGR rockets. Use of HMSD and guided-fire via EOS


The compact frame of the H145M provides a low-flight profile, which is enhanced by the flexibility of the helicopter in flight. The internal fuel tanks and the light ballistic protection in the frame together with the transparent armored glass in the cockpit made by the Israeli OSG (photo below) add to the level of protection.  

The helicopter can also be fitted optionally with an electronic warfare system (i.e Thales family of systems). The chaffs and flares launchers together with the incoming missile early warning system offer an extra level of protection in high-risk environments.

Source: Airbus

According to Ms. Pinsdorf, early warning systems for laser targeting and radar homing are under development.

Source: OSG

Cockpit – Avionics

The H145M is equipped with a state-of-the-art digital glass cockpit (Airbus Helionix® Advanced Aircraft Suite), which is compatible with night-vision equipment, and features a 4-axis digital autopilot that drastically reduces the workload of the pilot.

The helicopter showcased at Eurosatory was equipped with a Safran Euroflir™ 410 electro-optical system (EOS) which operates in four spectral wave bands (TV / NIR / SWIR / MWIR) providing ISR and targeting capabilities over long distances under any weather conditions, day and night. The Safran EOS comes with a built-in rangefinder and laser pointer. Airbus can offer various EOS options, however, depending on customer requirements.

Finally, the H145M is characterized by simplified logistics and maintenance procedures, while it can be transported in long ranges with transport aircraft (e.g. A400). In addition to the self-protection systems described above, future upgrades will include the option of installing air-to-air missiles.

Watch our very interesting video below:

Also read: France | 30 Airbus H160M Guepard Helicopters for the Armed Forces – VIDEO and Photos




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