According to Airbus, initial investigations were carried out in January at the Cincu firing range in Romania to assess the effects of the missile launch on the helicopter. The next step is integrating Israeli manufacturer Rafael’s Spike anti-tank missile into the helicopter’s HForce system.
Airbus developed the H-Force weapon platform to enable the H145M for combat tasks. With fire control elements, various machine weapons and unguided and guided missiles can be integrated in a modular manner.
Airbus Helicopters integrated the missile into the helicopter. They fired after the system integration evaluations and flight tests with the aircraft at company facilities in Donauwörth to assess aerodynamics, drag, vibration and performance.
The fully digital control of the turret made it possible to integrate the Spike ER2 into the H145M architecture transforming a civilian helicopter into a cost-effective military one.
The Spike ER2 missile weighs around 35 kg and is designed for target distances of up to ten kilometres. With new data links, the combat distance should be increased up to 16 km. The manufacturer says the new seeker head can be switched between daylight and infrared mode.
Equipped with the HForce system, the H145M can deploy a 12.7mm machine gun, a 20mm cannon, and laser-guided and unguided rockets up to 70mm calibre. So far, users of the H145M are Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Thailand and Luxembourg. According to Airbus Helicopters, and the helicopter will also be offered to the Romanian army.