Airbus Helicopters logged gross orders for 369 helicopters in 2019 (310 net orders), combined with its support and services revenue, worth more than € 7 billion. The company delivered 332 rotorcraft, including the landmark 1000th Super Puma, thus maintaining its lead in the civil & parapublic market with a 54% market share in terms of units.
On the civil side, the H125 and H145 remain best-sellers on the market with 130 and 91 bookings in 2019 respectively. Airbus Helicopters also reinforced its position in the military market thanks to key successes with international campaigns such as 23 NH90 for Spain and 25 H225M mainly for Hungary and Indonesia.
2019 saw Airbus Helicopters deploying its global support contracts on the military side with a key support contract for the NH90 in service in the German Army, the Tiger, Cougar and Caracal contracts in France, and a five-year extension of the through-life support contract for the Australian Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger. On the civil side, 250 additional helicopters were covered by global HCare contracts.
“The increased contribution from support and services and key wins in the military sector in 2019 underlines the importance of our robust business model. The balance between our different revenue streams enables us to maintain our global leadership in a challenging civil and parapublic market” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Our customers place their trust in our solutions and our goal is keep providing them with improved products and services that keep them flying,” he added.
Airbus Helicopters continues to invest in its product portfolio through continuous product improvements in order to maintain a competitive range, as with the new five-bladed version of the strong-selling twin-engine light H145 helicopter to be certified this year. The H125 will be offering a power increase to its customers that will enable them to carry up to an additional 190 kg. The H135 now offers an alternate gross weight that offers its operators an additional payload of 120kg. The soon-to-be-certified H160 delivers competitiveness thanks to its increased fuel efficiency and customer-centric simplified maintenance eco-system, and will also bring an array of breakthrough safety features with Helionix’s accrued pilot assistance and automated features as well as flight envelop protection.
Airbus Helicopters also progressed with a military version of the H160, unveiling a full-scale mock-up. The French Ministry of Armed Forces announced that the launch of its Joint Light Helicopter programme, for which the H160M has been selected, has been brought forward and will enable the first delivery to be advanced to 2026.
From an innovation perspective, 2019 saw good progress in the focus areas of autonomy, electrification and connectivity that will prepare the next generation of VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. The fully electric CityAirbus demonstrator conducted its first flight, as did the prototype of the VSR700 unmanned aerial system that’s designed for military applications.