The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has taken delivery of its first H225M helicopter in Singapore.
Airbus Helicopters signed a contract with Singapore’s Ministry of Defence for the acquisition of H225M Medium Lift Helicopters in 2016.
Congratulating Singapore on the H225Ms, Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even said: “Airbus is very happy to celebrate this important milestone with the RSAF. This delivery is exceptionally significant as Airbus and the RSAF overcame the COVID-19 pandemic challenges in 2020 to achieve a smooth handover of the helicopter.”
“The RSAF has been a long-term partner of Airbus since its first Aerospatiale SA316B Alouette III entered into service more than 50 years ago. We appreciate the trust Singapore has placed in our helicopters, and we look forward to the H225Ms playing a critical role in the RSAF for many years to come,” Even added.
Singapore’s fleet of H225Ms is expected to assume a wide range of roles, including search and rescue, aeromedical evacuation, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
Singapore is allowed to base 16 helicopters at the Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey under a bilateral agreement with Australia, meaning it is possible that the H225Ms could fly out of Oakey.
Five RSAF CH-47D Chinooks have been based at Oakey since 2018, and 10 new-build CH-47Fs from an unannounced Singaporean order for 16 helicopters, signed in November 2016, are expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2021, with the balance being shipped directly to Singapore from the US.
It is unclear what will happen to the five heavy-lift Chinooks currently at Oakey once the delivery is made.