8-Dec-2017 Source: SENER
The engineering and technology group SENER and Babcock España, joint venture partners, presented the fifth upgraded Agusta Bell 212 (AB-212) to the Directorate General of Armament and Material (Dirección General de Armamento y Material, DGAM) of the Spanish Ministry of Defence as part of a total of seven units that came into service in 1974. The two last units will be delivered in 2018.
The presentation ceremony, which took place at Babcock’s Aeronautical Maintenance Centre in Albacete, was attended by the joint venture’s Director, José Rodríguez Muñoz, from SENER’s Aerospace division. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Babcock MCS España, Enrique Nogueroles, and the Strategy and Business Director of Babcock España, Ignacio Almaraz, attended the presentation on behalf of Babcock España. Lieutenant Colonel Juan José Sanz Castro, Head of the DGAM Program Office, and Captain Francisco García Sánchez, from the Directorate of Logistics Support (JAL) of the Navy (TBC) were also present.
SENER and Babcock España have entered a joint venture with the purpose of completing the life extension program of these seven AB-212 helicopters belonging to the Spanish Navy. This will extend their operational life in at least 15 years, by incorporating advances in equipment and avionics.
In this upgrade, SENER is responsible, in general terms, of the design, integration and engineering works and Babcock España is in charge of the design, installation, and land and flight testing, as well as certification process carried out through the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial – National Institute of Aerospace Technology). Thanks to this program, the helicopters will be able to operate without restriction in controlled military and civilian airspaces, in compliance with the requirement of new regulations, as well as giving them self-protection and defence systems that will allow them to be deployed in multinational missions with a low-medium threat level.
The upgrade of the AB-212 helicopters, as well as full replacement of the electrical systems and replacing the analogue cockpit for a fully digitalized one, also includes new functionalities such as radar, GPS navigation, night vision system, and protection and self-defence systems etc., all of which are essential to effective operations in an ever more demanding national and international context.