Helicopter Master Plan in Operation
As part of the stimulus plan developed to support industry, the Spanish Ministries of Defence and Interior have contracted with Airbus for 36 H135 helicopters, the company announced on 23 December. Each Ministry is to receive 18 aircraft: for the Air Force and Navy and for the National Police and Guardia Civil, respectively, with deliveries to begin next year.
The Spanish Army already operates 16 H135s, but this acquisition marks the Air Force’s first H135 procurement and the Navy’s first adoption of an Airbus Helicopters product. In both cases, the new aircraft will replace older models currently used for advanced pilot training. Standardisation in training fleets across the services will create synergies and lead to more efficient training and support activities.
“Together with the NH90, the H135 will be present in all branches of the Spanish armed forces, as an example of harmonisation and the search for synergies in training and maintenance, as stipulated by our Helicopter Master Plan,” said Adm Santiago González at DGAM. “This collaboration between the Ministries of the Interior and Defence is an important milestone in the rationalisation of programmes by the Spanish Government.”
The Ministry of Interior currently has a fleet of 31 helicopters from the H135 family in operation with the National Police, the Guardia Civil, and Tráfico. The new helicopters will enable the Policía and Guardia Civil to replace their BO105 helicopters in a wide range of missions, including law enforcement, surveillance, and rescue.
“We [have signed] the largest H135 contract in the history of this programme in Spain, a key partner and one of the largest H135 operators worldwide. I take this opportunity to welcome the Spanish Navy and the Spanish Air Force as new users of this model,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H135’s performance, versatility, and flight readiness have been particularly appreciated by Spanish operators.”