(Photo from Airbus Helicopters website)
Airbus Helicopters says the combat-capable aircraft to be built at the 325,000 sq. foot facility in the Golden Triangle will meet the needs of the U.S. military and its parapublic allies.
Airbus Helicopters has introduced new military variants to its H125 line that will be built in their Columbus, Mississippi plant. The configurations are known as AH-125 and MH-125 Ares.
The company says these combat-capable aircraft will feature militarized options that meet the needs of military and parapublic allies and partners around the world.
“The AH-125 and MH-125 Ares helicopters will offer the capability, reliability and flexibility needed by America’s allies and partners as they perform an array of rotary wing missions, ranging from light attack to disaster response and other parapublic missions,” said Scott Tumpak, Vice President of Military Line of Business for Airbus U.S. Space and Defense, in a release announcing the new lines. “They represent the latest evolution of Airbus’ H125 family of helicopters and will be produced in the U.S. at Airbus Helicopters, Inc.’s facility in Columbus, Mississippi.”
The Columbus facility opened in 2004. The company is housed in a 325,000-square-foot facility and produces the H125 commercial helicopter as well as the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter. Nearly 40% of the workforce in Columbus is made up of veterans, the company notes.
According to Airbus, the H125 line accounts for almost 80% of the single-engine helicopter market and has the highest number of certified modifications available.
With the new addition of a flexible weapons capability, the H125 helicopter will easily be re-configured between multiple mission sets in less than 30 minutes, ranging between light attack, air assault, search and rescue, casualty evacuation, and disaster response, as well as other combat and parapublic operations.
The H125 is the world’s top-selling helicopter, Airbus Helicopters proudly touts. It has a long history of use by U.S. law enforcement and government agencies. The company says currently, the H125 is the light enforcement helicopter used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with more than 100 H125 family aircraft in service, making the U.S. government the single largest customer and operator of the aircraft.