Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Serbian Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin has accepted the first H145M helicopter for the Serbian Air Force at the Airbus Helicopters Donauwörth site in Germany.
The delivery, announced by Airbus on Friday, is the first of nine helicopters Serbia is set to receive from the company.
Two more H145Ms are planned to be delivered to the Serbian Ministry of Interior in December, and four will eventually be delivered to the Serbian air force equipped with the HForce weapon management system designed for light attack roles.
"We assess the implementation of the contract as an example of successful cooperation and positive business practice," Vulin said at a ceremony marking the delivery.
"We are particularly pleased to point out that the activities of the industrial cooperation covered by the contract are taking place within the planned timelines," Vulin added.
The contract involves technology transfers, spare parts, tools and other maintenance equipment along with certification of the Serbian Moma Stanojlovic aircraft plant to maintain them and Gazelle light helicopters. Serbia and Airbus plan to make the plant a supplier for export of parts and services for the helicopters.
The Н145M can come with several kinds of modular payloads that are installed or removed depending on the mission. It is a digitally controlled twin-engine helicopter already in use by Germany, Hungary and other countries. Airbus claims that it is the quietest helicopter in it's size-class, making its approach harder to detect at low altitude.
It can function as a general purpose utility helicopter or be outfitted for surveillance, medical evacuation, search rescue and armed reconnaissance.
The Serbian H145s will have cameras, ballistic panels for light armor, fast ropes and fire support systems, as well as electronic countermeasures.
HForce is a weapons management system designed to outfit military and civilian helicopters as light attack platforms, including rockets, machine guns, guided missiles and targeting pods.