Bell UH-1D has been retired from Bundeswehr after 53 years of service

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The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has officially retired the Bell UH-1D helicopter from its fleet, after more than 53 years of service.

The UH-1D helicopter of Bundeswehr search and rescue service soared above Holzdorf for the last time at a retirement ceremony for the aircraft in the presence of Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, April 12, 2021.

Since 1968, the Bundeswehr has gradually purchased 340 UH-D1s. The vehicles were used as passenger transport, fighting forest fires and floods, and for search and rescue services (SAR).

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The aging Bell UH-1D is succeeded by the H145 LUH SAR (Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue).

The H145M, the military version of the H145, is a tried-and-tested light twin-engine helicopter that was first delivered to the Bundeswehr in 2015 and has since also been ordered by Serbia, Hungary, Thailand and Luxembourg. Mission readiness of the H145Ms already in service is above 95%.

The H145 LUH SAR helicopters are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks for example.

Photo by Peter Straub

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