ASEAN’s shared lifesaver: the H225M helicopter

Source: Airbus

With a combination of over 90 H225 family civil and military helicopters operating in eight countries in Asia Pacific, the H225M is an important tool in the region’s militaries. Rotor caught up with pilots from Malaysia and Thailand to discover what makes this machine so effective at offering critical support throughout the region.

Many of the Malaysian Air Force’s missions revolve around disaster relief, transporting people, supplies and rations. But for one particular pilot an incident during the 2015 floods really stands out. “It was raining heavily and a small village had become isolated at night. We had to go in because the water was rising rapidly. The visibility was poor but with the autopilot, EOS and searchlight we were able to complete the mission. An older helicopter wouldn’t have been capable of doing it.”

 

With a combination of over 90 H225 family civil and military helicopters operating in eight countries in Asia Pacific, the H225M is an important tool in the region’s militaries. Rotor caught up with pilots from Malaysia and Thailand to discover what makes this machine so effective at offering critical support throughout the region.
Photo: Airbus.

 

A representative from the Royal Thai Air Force also mentioned the impact the EOS (electro-optical system) had during a rescue mission for the HTMS Sukhothai, which sank at night in rough seas in December 2022. Playing a key role alongside other naval ships and helicopters the H225’s sensor was essential in locating sailors in the water.

 

Soaring above the rest

Unsurprisingly for a helicopter that has been chosen by many of the Southeast Asian region’s militaries, it is very much appreciated by the pilots who fly it. “It is 100% useful for our missions, pilots have complete confidence in it, no matter the conditions,” said the representative from the Royal Thai Air Force. These thoughts were echoed by the Malaysian Air Force pilot. “It has a lot of power and is highly reliable. We are able to do the approach thanks to the integration of autopilot and navigation system. The autopilot reduces workload and allows pilots to focus on the mission rather than flying the aircraft.”

 

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The Royal Thai Air Force pilot also highlights another useful autopilot feature: “the autopilot can compensate for tailwind which is really nice. The CMA 9000 Flight Management System combines navigation and GPS which means that we can locate a target and go there more easily.”

 

ASEAN presence

Having such a high concentration of H225 operators in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries brings with it certain advantages. “If the entire region is using the same asset, the logistic line is shortened and that means faster support. Also knowledge sharing is enhanced throughout the region,” notes the Malaysian pilot. The representative from the Royal Thai Air Force agrees. “It is very useful to talk with other squadrons and share experiences, this enhances safety. We are close to Malaysia and Indonesia and we cooperate with other ASEAN countries. We work on SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and the H225 is a common point among other countries in the region.”

 

This article was originally published on the Airbus website.

 

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