Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: EC 635P2, EC 635T2 and EC635
Parent System: H135M
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2002
Total Production: 71
Total Cost: USD$120 million
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Description: The Airbus Helicopters H135M, formerly the Eurocopter EC 635, is a twin-engine, light, multi-mission, militarized variant of successful EC 135 helicopter, that owns around 60% of the small-sized helicopters market. It is well suited to troop transport, light utility, medevac, training, target designation, reconnaissance and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in unarmed configuration. Outfitted with a wide variety of armament pods housing guns, guided missiles or rockets, the EC 635 is well suited to armed reconnaissance in hostile environments, anti-tank, light attack against ground positions, fire support, escort, border control and zone neutralization missions.
The aircraft fuselage incorporates the latest composite technologies which contribute to excellent speed and range. High maneuverability, ease of maintenance, reduced operating costs, low noise, high airlift capacity compared with other small-sized helicopters, and virtually no vibration compete the full spectrum of features provided to EC 635s. Either fuel-efficient Turbomeca Arrius 2B2 engines (EC 635T2) or Pratt & Whitney PW206B2 engines (EC 635P2) can power the EC 635 helicopter.
Portugal, as the launch customer, ordered nine versatile Arrius-powered EC 635s valued at €35 million that underwent qualification firing trials using rockets and guided missiles in 2001. Jordan has expressed its commitment for up to 16 of these machines. On 10 January 2006, Royal Jordanian Air Force ordered four additional Eurocopter EC 635 helicopters to expand its existing fleet. Two aircraft were scheduled for delivery in 2006 and the remaining two during 2007. These aircraft were intended for border surveillance, special operations missions, medical evacuation, police law enforcement and VIP transport.
Eurocopter Germany and the Swiss defense procurement agency signed a contract on April 25, 2006, for the delivery of 20 EC 635/EC 135 family helicopters to the Swiss Armed Forces. Two EC 135 are intended for VIP transport while the remaining 18 EC 635 helicopters were purchased as a replacement for aging Alouette III in the utility and advanced training role. Deliveries were expected to begin in early 2008 and complete by the end of 2009. The first four machines were agreed to be assembled by Eurocopter in Germany with the other 16 to be assembled by RUAG in Switzerland.
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