24-Feb-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
The recent announcement of the future plans for the British law enforcement fleet points to the disposal of the MD Explorers currently in use. The announcement by the National Police Air Service (NPAS) of a target fleet of 19 helicopters has put us into research mode, but the pattern is clear.
There are 22 helicopters currently registered in the name of “Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire”, the regional force from Northern England with the responsibility for managing NPAS. In the next 12-18 months, a further five are expected to join – the three EC145s of the Metropolitan Police, Humberside’s Explorer and the Dyfed-Powys AW109. That brings the total fleet to:-
Given those numbers, and the fact that NPAS have already funded over £5M to refurbish older EC135s to bring them up to a more modern specification (principally role equipment upgrades to bring them in line with more recent deliveries), there is only one way to read the numbers. The AW109 was always in line for disposal being the only one of type, and that leaves 7 more to be disposed of to get down to the target fleet of 19.
HeliHub.com believes that the MD Explorer fleet is already being lined up for disposal.
John Burcote – HeliHub.com