The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces have ordered a fleet of H135 helicopters from Airbus for pilot training.
The export order was announced by Airbus Helicopters on the opening day of the Farnborough Air Show, which runs from 18 to 22 July.
“We are proud that the Forces Royales Air have selected the H135 for their training missions. It is a reliable, cost-efficient multirole helicopter that is ideally suited to transitioning to more complex aircraft,” said Arnaud Montalvo, Head of Africa and Middle East at Airbus Helicopters. “We are sure that the H135s will be a great asset to their fleet and we look forward to bringing them the best support in cooperation with our strategic partner Heliconia with its entry into service in the country,” he added.
Moroccan military pilots will use the twin engine H135s for training to perform a wide array of demanding missions including utility and search and rescue. The contract also covers a support package including the delivery of Flight Training Devices and the training of instructor pilots and maintenance pilots. The training programme will enable Morocco to take full advantage of the H135’s multi mission capabilities such as NVG and winching, Airbus Helicopters said.
Built by Airbus Helicopters, the H135 (formerly known as the EC-135) is a multipurpose light twin-engine helicopter able to perform various missions ranging from reconnaissance and ground support, to search and rescue and training.
The H135 is now flown by 12 military operators, including the armed forces of the Brazil, Gabon, Ireland, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Japan. Over 130 units are in service with militaries around the world, and have accumulated over 400 000 military flight training hours.
The helicopter can carry seven (including two flight crew) in its standard configuration, and boasts a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 2 980 kg; a maximum payload of 1 360 kg; a top speed of 259 km/h; a range of 633 km with standard fuel and at normal MTOW; and an endurance of 3 hours 35 minutes.
Morocco already flies Airbus Helicopters, in January 2020 the country’s Gendarmerie took delivery of two H125 helicopters, joining its fleet of nearly three dozen aircraft.
While it’s Army aviation operates Alouette II, Gazelle and A109 helicopters and in 2020 the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) ordered 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from Boeing, for delivery form 2024.
The Royal Moroccan Air Force operates a large fleet of helicopters which includes 19 Aerospatiale SA-342 Gazelles, between 10 and 12 Agusta-Bell AB-206 (Bell 206)Jet Rangers, 25 AB-205As, two Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks and 24 SA-330 Pumas, as well as half a dozen CH-47 Chinooks.