The Tokyo Fire Department has ordered a second EC225 helicopter to further expand its Eurocopter-built rotary-wing fleet, which already has seen significant operational service in Japan â€“ including rescue and recovery efforts following the countryâ€™s earthquake and tsunami in March.
This latest order was placed after an open competition, and will lead to delivery of the EC225 with a full complement of mission equipment in 2013.
The new contract extends Eurocopterâ€™s long relationship with the Tokyo Fire Department spanning 40 years â€“ starting from the companyâ€™s cornerstone Alouette III rotary-wing aircraft and continuing today with the serviceâ€™s current fleet that consists of four Dauphin N3 helicopters in the four-metric ton weight category, two Super Puma L1s in the nine-ton category and one 11-ton EC225.
â€œThe Tokyo Fire Department has always sought to acquire helicopters with leading-edge capabilities, an illustration of Japanâ€™s strategy to equip its civil and government organizations with the best systems for missions ranging from fire-fighting to natural disaster response,â€ said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. â€œThe latest EC225 acquisition further acknowledges the Tokyo Fire Departmentâ€™s confidence in Eurocopter, and we stand ready to support it to the fullest as continuing our relationship.â€
Following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, helicopters from the Tokyo Fire Departmentâ€™s Tachikawa Air Squadron were deployed to perform numerous rescue and logistics missions, and it subsequently was granted funding to increase the fleet of large rotary-wing aircraft â€“ which proved their effectiveness in times of large-scale disasters.
The new EC225 will be delivered with a full complement of mission equipment, including a fire-fighting system with belly-mounted water tank, an emergency medical interior accommodating stretchers and emergency medical intervention kit, along with avionics for all-weather operations and search & rescue capabilities. It is expected to be assigned transport, support and rescue missions throughout the Tokyo prefecture, which covers an area from the Tokyo urban environment to the western mountainous boundaries and the remote Hachijoma island in the south. In addition to deploying from ground-based landing sites, the helicopter will be using rooftop helipads in its operational duties.
â€œEurocopter is proud to receive this confirmation of customer satisfaction in Japan with the latest EC225 contract, and we look forward to a new chapter in our relationship with the Tokyo Fire Department Tachikawa Air Squadron as it carries out life-saving and other critical missions,â€ added Stephane Ginoux, the CEO of Eurocopter Japan.
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