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Airbus Helicopters reports orders increased in 2023 by about 10%, year-on-year

24th January 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Airbus Helicopters, part of the Europe-based global major aerospace and defence group Airbus, has reported that it secured 410 gross orders, or 393 net orders, for its aircraft last year. These orders came from 179 customers in 47 countries. Deliveries last year came to 346 helicopters, and preliminary figures indicate that the company secured 54% of the global civil and “parapublic” (Airbus’ term for police, customs, coast guard, rescue and emergency medical services) markets.

“Airbus Helicopters’ order intake in 2023, with an increase bordering ten percent in units in comparison to 2022, highlights its stable growth despite the ongoing global context of inflation and geopolitical instability,” affirmed Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even. “It’s also a testament to the versatility of our products on both the civil and military market and I’d like to thank our customers for continuing to entrust their critical missions to Airbus Helicopters.”

The company has a product range of six families of helicopters. From the smallest to the largest types, the gross orders secured last year were 108 for the H125 family, 39 for the H130 family, 186 for the H145 family, 26 for the H160 family and 14 for the H175 family. Further, it holds 62.5% of NHI, which produces the NH90 family of military helicopters. Last year the NH90 family won gross orders of eight aircraft.

“Defence and security is one of Airbus Helicopters' strategic priorities and we continue to innovate and develop to increase mission capabilities for our customers,” he highlighted. “The German armed forces signing the largest H145M contract with up to 82 light attack helicopters at the end of 2023 is testimony to that. On the development side, the H175M successfully performed flight demonstrations in the extreme hot and high conditions of the desert in Saudi Arabia while the VSR700 [rotary-wing uncrewed aerial system, or UAS] demonstrated its performance during sea trials from a French Navy multi-mission frigate. We also continue to expand our UAS portfolio with the acquisition of Aerovel which will allow us to offer our customers additional mission capabilities with manned-unmanned teaming.”

Last year also saw the first flight of the NH90 Sea Tiger antisubmarine helicopter, for the German Navy, as well as the first delivery of a H135 to a new customer, the Spanish Navy.

The company’s service and support offering, HCare, continued to prove popular in 2023, in both the civil and military markets. No fewer than 140 new helicopters were covered by HCare “by-the-hour” contracts last year, taking the total number of machines so covered to 2 760.

Research, development, innovation and sustainability remained priorities last year. The company continued its programme of developing and testing demonstrators aimed at improving efficiency, safety and decarbonisation. Thus, its FlightLab (a modified H130) successfully demonstrated a new electric flight control (or ‘fly by wire’) system, which replaced the helicopter’s normal three pilot controls, with a single ‘stick’ control – the first time that this has been achieved in a helicopter. The company also unveiled a twin-engined counterpart to the FlightLab, dubbed the PioneerLab (a modified H145). And its new-design DisruptiveLab test helicopter, unveiled in November 2022, made its first flight early last year. DisruptiveLab has a new aerodynamic architecture, intended to reduce fuel consumption.   

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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