Hungarian Air Force receives its first two Airbus H225M helicopters


On July 18, as reported by Hungary Today, the Hungarian Defense Forces received their first two Airbus H225M helicopters at the Szolnok air base. The helicopters, configured as medium transport (Troop Transport Helicopter) aircraft and registered as 70 and 71, were warmly welcomed by the MH Kiss József 86th Helicopter Brigade.

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Hungarian Air Force receives its first two Airbus H225M helicopters 1 The arrival of the two Airbus H225M helicopters, still registered in France and piloted by both French and Hungarian pilots, was greeted by various officials, including Brigadier General József Koller, Acting Commander of the Air Force, and Colonel Zsolt Simon, Deputy Commander of the MH Kiss József 86th Helicopter Brigade (Picture source: MTI/Mészáros János)


These two helicopters were originally delivered by Airbus Helicopters in July from their production center in Marignane, France. The Ministry of Defense had placed an order for a total of 16 H225M helicopters as part of the Defense and Force Development Program.

The Hungarian military-type certification process for the H225M began in 2021, with a particular emphasis on tailoring the helicopter's configuration to meet the specific needs of the Hungarian military. In March 2022, the Ministry's experts visited the manufacturer and engaged in technical discussions with the team responsible for the design, production, and operation of the helicopter. Subsequently, type certification test flights were conducted on the helicopter with the manufacturer's identification number IRO 011 between February 28 and March 1, 2023.

The introduction of the H225M helicopters is intended to replace the aging fleet of Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopters, which were a variant of the Mi-8. While the old Soviet-designed Mi-17 could accommodate up to 24 passengers and 3 crew members, the new Airbus H225M has the capacity to carry up to 28 passengers, depending on the amount of equipment onboard. Both the Mi-17 and the H225M have a similar cargo capacity of 4,000 kg. However, the H225M boasts superior performance with a maximum speed of 325 km/h and a range exceeding 820 km, compared to the Mi-17's maximum speed of approximately 250 km/h and a range of 620 km.


Hungarian Air Force receives its first two Airbus H225M helicopters 3 As the most advanced member of Airbus’ military Super Puma/Cougar family, the 11-metric-tonne H225M has proven its reliability and durability in combat conditions and crisis areas (Picture source: Airbus)


Powered by two powerful Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines, the H225M’s five-blade main rotor provides an exceptionally low vibration level, and the modular Spheriflex design for its rotor mechanical assemblies allows for lower maintenance. The helicopter’s outstanding 700 nautical mile range can be extended with air-to-air or hover in-flight refuelling capabilities.

The H225M’s four-axis dual-duplex automatic flight control system (AFCS) provides outstanding precision and stability; its upper modes integrate the engine limitations in all-engines operative (AEO) and one-engine inoperative (OEI) situations. The AFCS also includes SAR flight patterns, instrument flight rules (IFR) procedures, and automatic approaches – and also allows for fully automatic hovering, whatever the speed.

At a glance, the flight crew has access to all navigation and piloting data through the new glass cockpit that features four 10 x 8-inch enlarged displays, as well as ground proximity and traffic collision avoidance. Information as electronic warfare indications and alerts are automatically displayed only when necessary.

This enhanced configuration enables reduced crew workload with easier, faster and streamlined mission management (route preparation/modification/selection, digital map/navigation management). TINS and GPS (integrated navigation system and Global Positioning System) sensor redundancy enhances discrepancy management while providing a higher position accuracy.

As the most advanced member of Airbus’ military Super Puma/Cougar family, the 11-metric-tonne H225M has proven its reliability and durability in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, Somalia, and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. Additionally, the H225M is counted on as a force multiplier by France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Singapore, Thailand, and now Hungary.


Hungarian Air Force receives its first two Airbus H225M helicopters 2