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Previously known as the EC135, the Airbus H135 is a twin-engine light helicopter which was originally developed from the MBB Bo 105 helicopter and the Bo 108 technology demonstrator. Over 1,400 have been built to date and have been used for a variety of roles including training, police and corporate transports. The standard H-135 is also operated by the RAF as the Jupiter HT1 training helicopter and has been chosen to replace the Gazelle AH.1 with the Army Air Corps in 2024. A specialised military version known as the H135M has also been developed and is fitted with ballistic protection, machine gun mounts, military standard avionics and it can also use rocket pods mounted on side pylons.
The Irish Air Corps operates four EC-135s, the first being delivered in 2005. The fleet is split between a fleet of P2+ and T2 variants. The two T2 variants are flown by the Irish Air Corps on behalf of the Garda - the Irish Police.
The Irish Air Corps will be providing one of their EC-135s for static display at this year's Air Tattoo. The helicopter will be provided by the No 3 Operations Wing.
Photo Credit: Peter Reoch