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Airbus Helicopters’ light, medium and heavy helicopters are proven at sea with more than 60 years of operations that cover all maritime applications. Their effectiveness has been proven in operations including maritime counter-terrorism and piracy, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) surveillance and control, deployment of boarding parties, search and rescue, and medical and casualty evacuation.


Light and medium helicopters

The light twin-engine H145M and the medium twin-engine Panther AS565 MBe respond to today’s maritime mission needs, and are ready to meet the evolving requirements of tomorrow, at sea and in coastal zones.

The AS565 MBe is the recognized benchmark for medium-sized maritime helicopters – flying around-the-clock on missions in the United States, Europe, Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and other regions.

Equipped with Airbus Helicopters’ Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor – and featuring modern cockpit avionics that include an automatic flight control system (AFCS) and flight management system – some 250 Panther helicopters are operated by maritime customers in more than 20 countries.

An earlier version of the Panther family, the HH-65 Dolphin, is today the true workhorse of the U.S. Coast Guard, which deploys approximately 100 of the aircraft along the nation’s Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts, as well as in the Hawaiian Islands. During an exemplary service lifetime that spans 20 years, the Panther’s versatility has enabled the Coast Guard’s fleet to assume such duties as search and rescue, homeland security patrols and drug interdiction.

Additional uses of Panther helicopters by other naval services include air assult, pollution control, the engagement of patrol boats during combat in the Persian Gulf, and anti-piracy missions in areas of risk for civilian shipping.

The Panther family is qualified to operate from over 100 classes of NATO ships, and complies with NATO standardization agreements (STANAGs).

Heavy helicopters

Airbus Helicopters’ twin-engine Cougar H215M and Caracal H225M – the military counterparts of the civil Super Puma family – have continually evolved in response to changing maritime missions and threats.

This helicopter family’s rugged airframe and rotor system is enhanced by modern avionics that include Airbus Helicopters’ 4-axis autopilot. With their modern cockpits and night vision goggle compatibility, these rotorcraft are ready for all weather operations, including flight in icing conditions, and day and night operations.

The helicopters’ range provides autonomy during extended-duration missions and in search and rescue duties, while their payload capability is highly appreciated in ship vertical replenishment (VERTREP) applications, for delivering equipment to disabled vessels, and deploying boarding parties. They are equipped to perform the full spectrum of maritime security missions.

Specialized helicopters

The twin-engine NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) has been developed by Europe’s NHIndustries partnership (Airbus Helicopters, Agusta Westland, and Fokker) as a primary maritime weapon system in a surface fleet’s defense, with complementary missions including VERTREP, casualty evacuation, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, maritime surveillance and utility support.

Mission equipment for the rotorcraft includes a 4-axis autopilot, the NFH tactical mission control system and a tactical 360-deg. radar, among other features. It also features a tactical forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor that is interfaced with the helicopter’s radar and navigation system. The rotorcraft’s Data Link 11 digital data link facilitates information exchange with land-based, airborne and seaborne platforms.

Safe touchdowns in day/night and adverse weather conditions are facilitated by the NH90’s advanced navigation and ship landing aids, completed by a harpoon system for securing the touchdown in high sea states.

As an excellent search and rescue resource, the NH90 NFH is equipped with a durable rescue hoist and can accommodate a hoist operator, one diver and up to 25 survivors in the large cabin. This performance enables the helicopter to accomplish up to 97 percent of all search-and-rescue missions in terms of radius-of-action, and 99 percent in terms of number of survivors.