Air Transportation: UH-145 News

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November11, 2006: The U.S. Army has ordered 42 UH-145 helicopters, for about five million dollars each, from European firm EADS. Eventually, the army plans to buy 332. The UH-145 is a militarized version of the EC145, a helicopter very popular with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. The UH-145 purchase is a side effect of the cancellation of the Comanche helicopter, which was perceived as too expensive and complex for army needs. When the Comanche was cancelled, money was freed up to buy other light helicopters. The UH-145 will replace the aging UH-1 transports, and some OH-58 scout helicopters. The 3.6 ton UH-145 has a top speed of 260 kilometers an hour and a max range of 660 kilometers. Average endurance per sortie is about two hours. The helicopter has a crew of two, and can carry up to eight passengers, or about three-quarters of a ton of cargo or weapons. The EC145 was introduced four years ago, and has been very popular with its users.

The first UH-145s will arrive before the end of the year. The army is also buying smaller Bell 407s (as ARH-70A), as replacements for the OH-58 (which is itself a militarized version of the older Bell 206.) ARH stands for or armed reconnaissance helicopter. The UH-145 mainly serves as a lighter version of the UH-60 transport, and the first ones will go to medical units. The army is experimenting with using some UH-145s for jobs the OH-58 did, but for now, the plan is to replace all OH-58s with Bell-407/ARH-70A.

 


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