Production of the Airbus Helicopters H225 is now assured well into the 2040s following a record-breaking order for up to 44 examples of the heavy-twin for the Bundespolizei, or German Federal Police.

Disclosed at the ILA Berlin air show on 6 June, the €1.9 billion ($2 billion) commitment – 38 firm orders and six options – will see deliveries run over the 2029-2035 period.

That, says Airbus Helicopters chief executive Bruno Even, helps ensure that the H225 is built “beyond 2040”.

H225-c-Airbus Helicopters

Source: Airbus Helicopters

German order is valued at over $2 billion

Selection by a “demanding” customer like the Bundespolizei after a contest in which it defeated the Sikorsky S-92 “gives visibility” to the Super Puma programme, he says.

Such an order “gives us flexibility” beyond 2030, he says, with output likely to be around 20 units per year. In the past five years, the airframer has delivered around 100 examples to military or governmental operators. 

Excluding the German order, Cirium fleets data records an undelivered backlog of 37 H225s – the majority of which are the miliary variant.

“We are ready for customers around the world for the coming decades,” Even adds, noting that for certain missions, the 11t helicopter “will be the only competitive solution”.

Assembly of the new Bundespolizei fleet will take place at the airframer’s main site in Marignane, France, although maintenance and overhaul activities will be carried out at Airbus Helicopters Technik in Kassel and at customer facilities.

Even also praises the political support and wider industrial policy inherent in the order. “In order to survive in today’s complex and competitive world, a company like Airbus needs to be more than just resilient and innovative,” he says.

Rapidly changing global politics means that “we in industry also need the understanding of our home countries”.

While the largest order for H225s was a 50-unit commitment from Brazil for the M-model military variant, the German order is the biggest single deal for the civil model, says Even.