First H135 Juno helicopter arrives in UK
Airbus Helicopters UK has now received the first examples of both the helicopter types it will supply for the UK’s Military Flight Training System (MFTS) requirement.
Delivered to the company’s Oxford airport site on 6 December, a H135 light twin joins a larger H145 (G-CJIV) which arrived in early November.
The H135 is not yet listed on the UK’s civil aviation register, but it is understood that it will initially bear the registration G-CJIW.
Built in 2016, it is serial number 2002 and previously wore the German test registration D-HECV.
Airbus Helicopters confirms that two more H135s, serial numbers 2001 and 2003, will arrive in the UK before year-end.
A further 11 H135s for the MFTS contract are now in final assembly at the manufacturer’s facility at Donauwörth, near Munich according to its production information.
In all, the UK is to acquire 29 H135s and three H145s – to be known as Juno and Jupiter, respectively – as part of a £1.1 billion (1.36 billion) deal to replace its current training fleet of 34 AS350 Squirrel HT1s and 15 Bell Helicopter 412 Griffin HT1s.
They will be fitted with customer-specific mission equipment at Airbus Helicopters UK in Oxford, and will subsequently be handed over to Ascent Flight Training, the Babcock-Lockheed Martin joint venture, in the first quarter of 2017.
Ascent, which delivers the MFTS syllabus, will then use them to train Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps crews.