The H145M LUH SOF is in use with the German Air Force Helicopter Wing 64 (HSG64) in Laupheim since 2014. LUH SOF is transcribed with Light Utility Helicopter Special Operations Forces.
The type is based on the civil Version H145T2 from Airbus Helicopters, previously known as Eurocopter and optimised for usage by the Special Forces of the Bundeswehr like the KSK (Kommando Spezial Kräfte – commando special forces). The usage can include tactical transport of up to four fully equipped soldiers, air to ground support, reconnaissance as well as evacuation of injured troops. For this purpose the helicopter received four-axis autopilot and equipment for day- and night flying and in adverse weather. To support the soldiers being transported fast-roping equipment, cameras for surveillance and support structures for weapons are in use.
Passive protection includes ballistic protection and an ECM system which is supported by the dark grey paint – thus the H145M is hardly recognisable during the night and in bad weather. In addition, due to the Fenestron / protected tail rotor, the noise level is very low. Overall the significantly reduced visual and acoustic signatures of the aircraft in combination with the fast-roping system allow a secretive transport of soldiers and equipment to their targeted destinations. The small diameter of the main rotor provides in addition the opportunity for missions in urban areas. Overall 15 helicopters of this type have been purchased by the Bundeswehr, the last one was handed over to HSG64 in Laupheim on June 26th2017.
Tom Ziegler, July 2017