Built in the United States, these new versions of the H125 family combine the performance of the most capable and most popular single engine helicopter globally with the versatility and efficiency required for military missions. Introducing the AH-125 and MH-125, also nicknamed Ares. 

 

Many U.S. allies and partners have a need for highly capable military helicopters that can perform a full range of military missions, but lack the budgets to acquire specialised twin-engine aircraft. A single-engine, multi-purpose helicopter can meet that need. The AH-125 and MH-125 are built in the U.S. and available with the support of the U.S. Government to assist both our military and parapublic partners. 

The U.S. Government is the single largest owner of the H125, operating over 100 aircraft with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Expanding upon these capabilities offers a number of important advantages, as Rob Geckle, Chairman & CEO of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. explains: “In the single-engine category, the H125 is renowned worldwide for its performance, efficiency and versatility, which can be easily extended to a wide range of military missions.” 

Versatility and flexibility

The A/MH-125 Ares is the perfect platform to perform such a variety of operations across the challenging environment of South America. With the highest performance available, the H125 holds the record for the highest altitude landing and take-off on Mount Everest. Its Ares variant brings a capability that enables operations throughout some of the most rugged and tallest peaks in the world. 

With the AH-125 version, which is designed for a light attack capability, the H125 is capable of being armed with a wide range of weapons to support our customers’ demanding requirements. The MH-125 version is a multi-role helicopter, which can easily be configured for a wide variety of missions in a military context: tactical transport, air assault, combat search and rescue, medical evacuation,  combat resupply etc. “The AH-125 and MH-125 can be reconfigured quickly,” says Chris Arnold, Senior Manager of Foreign Military Sales. “And the switch from one version to another can be made in just 30 minutes by installing or removing the weapons pylons.” 

The key to this modular design lies in the installation designed by MAG Aerospace, Airbus’ U.S. partner on this programme. MAG Aerospace is responsible for the design, certification and manufacture of the weapon pylons. The originality of this solution is that the pylons are independent of the AH-125’s cabin, enabling it to fly unrestricted, with the doors open or closed, which allows for a multi-mission versatile capability even while armed. 

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H125 community

“This aircraft is a perfect solution for U.S. allies, not only because it is technically very capable, but also because it is based on a highly developed ecosystem,” says Chris Arnold. “The H125 family currently holds 80% of the single-engine market and this percentage is shared by various agencies and other U.S. parapublic users. By choosing the AH-125 and MH-125, you gain a very close relationship not only with the U.S. government, but also with many of the entities connected to this helicopter.” 

A lot of American public and parapublic operators, notably law enforcement departments, use their H125s in the same way as Ares: deploying specialised forces to both urban and rural areas, airborne sniper, rescue hoist, sling load operations including fire suppression, intelligence and surveillance, border security, etc.

“Everything can move so quickly”

The Airbus Helicopters plant in Columbus, Mississippi, currently manufactures between 30 and 40 helicopters per year. It is ready to add the AH and MH-125 to its production plan and has the capacity to handle aircraft manufacture from start to finish in whatever configuration is required. 

“Everything can move really quickly now,” says Chris Arnold. “An MH-125 ordered today could be delivered in nine months. For an AH-125, it will take 18 months for the certification process of the installation of weapons pylons.” This is in fact the only new certification project required for the baseline helicopter, as the H125 already holds  the world record for having the most STCs, with a very long list of options already certified. 

AH125 / MH125 ARES infographic