The H145M helicopter chosen by Germany which turns the page on the Tiger

On December 13, the Bundestag budget committee authorized the acquisition by the Bundeswehr of up to 82 H145M multi-purpose helicopters from Airbus Helicopters, as part of the modernization of the German armed forces. These aircraft, which will equip the Army and the Luftwaffe, will be armed and equipped, in particular for attack and anti-tank missions, signaling the end, by 2026, of the Tiger helicopter across the Rhine.

In 2017, in the euphoric dynamic started by Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to make the “Franco-German couple” the pillar of ‘Defense Europe’, Paris and Berlin jointly launched several joint military programs. Besides the FCAS and the MGCS, which continue to this day, despite obvious difficulties, several other major programs were launched, but met a more disastrous fate.

The Bundeswehr's rapid disinterest in the Tiger III standard

One of these programs was the Tiger III, and its next-generation MAST-F anti-tank missile. If Berlin quickly disengaged from the latter, in favor of the EuroSpike co-produced with Israel, German participation in Tiger III remained uncertain for a long time.

Tiger HAD
Germany was initially supposed to participate in the Tiger III program, but lost interest in 2019, without officially announcing its withdrawal.

As usual, the German authorities did not announce their withdrawal from the program. On the contrary, they let the program rot, until France and Spain decided, pressed for time, to develop a less ambitious version of the Tiger, called Tiger II+.

At the same time, Berlin undertook toe move closer to Washington to acquire AH-64E Gardian combat helicopters, considered more efficient, and above all not subject to the numerous maintenance and availability difficulties encountered by Tiger users.

Note that, for their part, the French and Spanish undertook to reorganize the maintenance of the aircraft in operational condition, quickly obtaining very significant progress in terms of availability of the combat helicopter.

However, the negotiation of the AH-64E being as complex as the aircraft is expensive, the Bundeswehr pressed the German Ministry of Defense to provide itself with a waiting solution, in this case the acquisition of a fleet helicopters specially equipped for combat missions, and armed. It was then a question of turning to a device immediately available, relatively economical, and as far as possible, manufactured in Germany.

The H145M from Airbus Helicopters, a logical choice for the German armies as an interim solution

The choice of the H145M helicopter was an almost natural choice for the Bundeswehr. The aircraft is versatile, and can both replace the Army's Tigers, and reinforce the H145s already in service with the Luftwaffe for special forces and medical evacuation missions.

H145M Airbus Helicopter
The H145M represents a solution of choice for the Bundeswehr to ensure the interim until the acquisition of a new combat helicopter… or not…

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