Aviation and aerospace firm SAF Group has ordered three additional H145 helicopters for emergency medical services (EMS) in France.

SAF will base the three more five-bladed aircraft in Grenoble, Valence, and Montpellier.

Airbus unveiled the multimission H145 light twin-engine helicopter at Heli-Expo 2019 and upgraded the aircraft by adding an advanced five-bladed rotor.

The upgrade increases the useful load of the helicopter by 150kg.

The new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, thereby improving the serviceability and reliability of the H145.

SAF ordered three H145s in 2018 and 2020.

Airbus delivered the first of this aircraft recently and is set to be deployed for EMS missions in Belgium.

SAF CEO Tristan Serretta said: “Introducing six new H145s in France and Belgium in just 12 months is in line with our strategy to increase the capacity of the growing number of EMS services that place their trust in us.

“This increase of our positioning is made possible by the level of performance and the versatility of this successful helicopter. SAF is determined to help demonstrate, together with the heads of emergency services, that having the right performance and at the right cost is key to saving lives.”

SAF operates 55 Airbus helicopters, including a Super Puma, H135s and H125s.

The new H145s are expected to strengthen the company’s capability to deliver EMS missions.

There are currently more than 1,470 H145 family helicopters in service worldwide, including 470 helicopters of the H145 family for the EMS mission.

Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even said: “The H145 is an ideal platform for EMS with the largest cabin in its class and unbeatable payload, it is capable of undertaking the most demanding missions. We are happy that the five-bladed H145 is gaining momentum in France and playing a key role in the modernisation of the EMS fleet in the country.”