Airbus Helicopters delivered the first of two H215s to join the Finnish Boarder Guard fleet on 28th February, and the second is expected to arrive today. Serial 2926, and registered OH-HVQ, the aircraft departed the factory at Marignane in southern France yesterday and has over-nighted in Germany.
The Finnish Boarder Guard already operates three AS332 aircraft and has in addition signed a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) HCare contract to retrofit these AS332s to the new H215 multirole configuration. The H215s will be used to perform Border Security and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) duties from the Turku and Helsinki bases. The Air Patrol Squadron of the Finnish Boarder Guard carries out more than 4,000 flight hours annually, 1,400 of which in their Super Pumas.
“Finland is the 8th largest country in the European Union but the most sparsely populated, with large sea areas and forest terrains and, due the northern location, very challenging weather conditions for SAR operations,” said colonel Antti Pesari at the Finnish Boarder Guards. “The H215’s avionics and autopilot combined with its capability to provide excellent performance in day or night operations are the reason why we are excited to have it join our fleet.”
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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