Cheshire Police have confirmed they have taken delivery of their first helicopter, a Eurocopter EC135P2+, at their Hawarden base. Cheshire is one of a consortium of six British police forces who got together and agreed a single specificiation, which brought down the unit price for each of them. Cheshire is the third of the six to take delivery, after the Suffolk and Central Counties Air Support Units. The remaining three are Chiltern, North Wales and North East - and that is thought to be the order in which they will be delivered.
As Eurocopter UK stated in their press release announcing the sale of six EC135s "Each of the helicopters will feature the latest Airborne Law Enforcement and Police Reconnaissance & Surveillance systems as well as interoperable communications means, including daylight and thermal imaging cameras, Nightsun search lights, video down-link system and Tetra radios, which will allow easy communication both with police on the ground and with the other emergency services.". As usual for UK-based Eurocopters, system integration and fit out was performed at Eurocopter's customisation center in Oxford, with painting sub-contracted to Edmondsons at Thruxton.
Up to now, Cheshire has resolutely stuck with fixed-wing, latterly a BN-2B Islander aircraft.
Cheshire Police were unable to provide us with a photo of their actual aircraft, so we have shown Suffolk's aircraft here - given they are all the same specification, only the registration and force logos will differ externally
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