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WA Police unveils first of 2 new Airbus 5-blade choppers

written by Jake Nelson | July 27, 2023

WA Police’s first Airbus H145 five-bladed helicopter, VH-VQX. (Image: Airbus)

WA Police has taken delivery of Australia’s first five-bladed Airbus H145 helicopter.

Registered VH-VQX, the aircraft – the first of two on order from Airbus, with the second to arrive by the end of the year – makes WA Police the first law enforcement jurisdiction in the Southern Hemisphere to operate the H145.

The new helicopter, which will be based in Perth, offers single-pilot and instrument flight rules, night vision, and a fully-integrated police mission system, alongside Airbus’s Helionix avionics suite and four-axis autopilot.

“The H145 provides a significant capability uplift that will enable our people to enforce the law, prevent crime, and manage and coordinate emergencies like never before,” said WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch.

“Seconds count when providing timely and quality responses to calls for help. The H145’s enhanced technology gives it better take-off performance and the aircraft’s ability to respond quickly and provide evidence quality, real-time tactical situational awareness to officers on the ground, will facilitate improved decision making and response.”


Stephen Forshaw, Airbus chief representative for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, says more than 200 H145 family helicopters are deployed in public service, law enforcement and EMS around the world, and dubbed the aircraft a “benchmark” for parapublic helicopters. In total, more than 1,600 H145 aircraft are in service.

“Airbus’ five-bladed H145 has set new standards for mission performance globally, with an unrivalled power margin and ‘useful load’ ratio,” said Forshaw.

“Because these requirements are essential for police and first responders, our teams have worked closely with the WA Police Force to ensure this platform best meets their needs.”

The VH-VQX registration previously belonged to a Jetstar A320-200.

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