In April 2023, Airbus Helicopters announced two new cost-effective offerings related to the H125 "Fennec" light helicopter line: the MH-125 and the AH-125. Both fall under the new "Ares" name and are built atop the H125 framework - which originated under the Aerospatiale brand label as the AS550. The new helicopters are designed to satisfy different roles with the modern battlefield in mind. While the MH-125 is seen as a "multi-mission" support solution, the AH-125 represents a bolder direct-attack model. Because of the targeted customers base, the new types would be constructed in the United States in Mississippi - giving it access to a Western-aligned operators to go along with streamlined foreign military sales approval.
The MH-125 and AH-125 are designed to coexist with the in-service H125M militarized model already offered by Airbus Helicopters.
The special-forces / special-missions AH-125 is set to have the traditional light-attack helicopter weapon arrangement of 12.7mm heavy machine gun pod and unguided rocket pod with promised support for guided ordnance options (most likely the Hellfire ATGM). The weapons component of the system is set to be handled by MAG Aerospace. Internally, the helicopter will have seating for four operatives (to include the pilot) with optional placement of four additional operatives externally.
Beyond this, the light helicopter is slated to support airborne rappelling and can be outfitted for the Search and Rescue (SAR) role as needed.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Special-Mission: MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC)
Extraction of wounded combat or civilian elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and available internal volume or external carrying capability.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
35.9 ft (10.95 m)
35.1 ft (10.70 m)
10.3 ft (3.15 m)
2,590 lb (1,175 kg)
4,971 lb (2,255 kg)
+2,381 lb (+1,080 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Airbus Helicopters MH-125 production variant)
1 x Turboshaft engine of unknown make, model, and output power driving three-bladed main rotor unit and three-bladed tail rotor unit.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Airbus Helicopters MH-125 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun pod.
1 x Unguided rocket pod.
Stated support for guided ordnance as well, presumably Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) like the American "Hellfire".
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2
Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).
Ares - Base Series Name.
AH-125 - Direct-attack variant.
MH-125 - Multi-mission, SPECOPS variant.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Image from official Airbus Helicopters marketing materials.
Aviation developments of similar form and function, or related to, the Airbus Helicopters ARES (MH-125 / AH-125)...
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