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The Hungarian Defence Forces have received the first two of 16 H225M multi-purpose helicopters according to schedule, manufacturer Airbus announced on 24 July 2023.

The aircraft, which were ordered in December 2018, arrived at Szolnok Airbase from Marignane, France, on 18 July and were officially handed over by Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. Registered with the numbers 70 and 71, they will be deployed at Szolnok as part of the 86th Helicopter Brigade.

“I am very happy that we have delivered the first H225Ms to Hungary today,” Even was quoted as saying in a company press release. “The Defence Forces are receiving a combat-proven, multi-role platform, which is the latest version of a very successful helicopter family. Together with the light twin-engine H145M, which is already in operation, Hungary now has a modern helicopter fleet that can fly a broad range of military missions, and we are proud that they decided our helicopters were the right choice for their extremely important operations.”

One of the two Hungarian H225Ms that arrived at Szolnok Airbase on 18 July 2023. (Photo: Hungarian MoD)

Airbus noted that the H225Ms selected by Hungary “are equipped with state-of-the-art communication capabilities and will be used for transport, combat search and rescue, and special operations missions”, adding that their “advanced avionics and four-axis autopilot, exceptional range and payload capacities, combined with a large cabin designed to carry up to 24 troops and powerful air-to-surface armaments as well as electronic warfare systems, allow the H225M to carry out the most demanding missions.”

The H225M’s cockpit is also compatible with night-vision goggles to offer a day or night all-weather capability.

Airbus noted that a part of the Hungarian H225M fleet will be fitted with the HForce weapon management system, adding air support capabilities and thus creating communality with the Hungarian H145M fleet, which is also equipped with HForce. Flight trials have recently been conducted in Hungary as part of the integration of a gun pod and rocket launchers on the Hungarian H225Ms.

A member of Airbus’ multi-role Super Puma family of helicopters, the H225M is already operational in France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Kuwait, and Singapore.

Peter Felstead