17-Feb-2013 Source: Eurocopter
During the International Defence Exhibition and Conference – IDEX, Eurocopter is set to showcase more than three decades of experience acquired in the military helicopter sector. Benefiting from its wide diversity of rotary- wing aircraft and their ability to adapt to a broad spectrum of missions, Eurocopter’s product line represents a benchmark – with operational uses ranging from reconnaissance, identification and tracking to deterrence, escort, attack, rescue and survey and troop transportation. The company military capabilities and expertise are displayed at the EADS booth in Hall 8, stand B05 with mock-ups of the NH90 in the naval version, the AS565 Panther and the EC145T2.
Currently more than 650 Eurocopter helicopters fly in the Arab world, with more than 80 percent of them for military use. Eurocopter is supporting the region’s armed forces for missions including combat, transport, Search and Rescue (SAR), counter-terrorism, special missions and training. Eurocopter also remains active in providing the best support to its customers, thanks to a maintenance center in the United Arab Emirates with long-standing partner Falcon Aviation Services (FAS). Through an operating agreement that was renewed last month, this center provides full maintenance and revision services, reinforcing the company’s customer support network in the region and supplementing Eurocopter’s platform in Abu Dhabi. In addition, a Eurocopter technical office has been opened in Islamabad for the daily support of its long-standing customers in Pakistan.
“In a region where loyalty and confidence are important qualities, Eurocopter will build on its proven relationship of more than 30 years with governmental, military, parapublic and civilian operators throughout the region,” explained Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations. “With a strong footprint in the Middle East, we continue to see a demand for our helicopters for military use. Equipped with the latest technology, they are able to perform all their missions in the most severe operational environment and critical situations”.
Built by NHIndustries, a consortium formed by Eurocopter, AgustaWestland and Fokker, the NH90 is just one of the models on show. To date, 136 NH90s have been delivered to customers, including 18 NH90s in the naval version. The fleet has now clocked up more than 30,000 flight hours, mainly in SAR missions performed in especially demanding environments and also in the Afghan theater of operations. Compatible with 80 types of NATO frigates, the naval version of the NH90 has fully demonstrated its capabilities in a wide range of missions, from reconnaissance, ship identification and tracking to rescue and transportation of passengers and troops. The first customer of the NH90 in the Middle East
is the Sultanate of Oman with an order of 20 helicopters. Today, 12 NH90s have been delivered to operate especially in utility missions.
Eurocopter’s display of the AS565 Panther in scale model form at IDEX underscores this helicopter’s attributes of speed and maneuverability for security and defense missions, with its operational credentials further enhanced by the twin-engine helicopter’s endurance, range and capabilities in overwater surveillance, tracking and search & rescue. The AS565 has been proven in Middle East operations for the protection of coastlines and surveillance of offshore economic zones with countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
The EC145 T2 is Eurocopter’s evolved version of the popular twin-engine EC145, incorporating new Arriel 2E engines, along with the company’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, upgraded main and tail rotor gear boxes, new digital avionics suite and a 4-axis autopilot. It is tailored for the Middle East’s emerging needs in law enforcement, border surveillance, medical airlift and other missions.
The EC145 helicopter family scored a major success when it was selected by the U.S. Army for its Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program, with the contract comprising nearly 350 aircraft in total. More than 250 of these helicopters, which are designated the UH-72A in their U.S. Army configuration, have now been received by the customer – with all delivered on time and on cost from the production line of Eurocopter’s American Eurocopter subsidiary in the state of Mississippi. Feedback on the operational use of this fleet has been incorporated into the new T2 version now available to armed forces.