Victoria Police will be equipped with three new helicopters and an aeroplane in a significant boost to the air support provided to police across the state. The four new aircraft will be delivered in 2020 and will replace the existing fleet of four helicopters. The contracts to acquire the new aircraft were announced today.
Acting Superintendent Mark Arneil said the new fleet will increase police capabilities and roles in emergency management, search and rescue, extended offshore marine safety and law enforcement, public safety and operational policing duties. “The aircraft we are procuring are world class, with some of the best technology available to law enforcement and other agencies,” Acting Superintendent Arneil said. “The aeroplane is a new capability for Victoria Police. It will have more than double the endurance and range of the helicopters, providing a valuable, uninterrupted observation platform that can support police across the state. The combination of helicopters and an aeroplane will provide us with more options for aerial support.”
The contracts announced today will see Victoria Police procure three Leonardo AW139 helicopters from StarFlight Victoria.
- These are medium-sized twin engine aircraft that have a significantly improved endurance and range compared to the existing fleet of helicopters.
- They will each be fitted with a rescue winch, daylight and infrared camera and mapping and image detection systems.
- They will be used for aerial observations, tactical deployments, rescues, searches, training, transport and public reassurance.
Victoria Police is also procuring a Beechcraft Super King Air 350ER aeroplane, to be provided by Skytraders.
- This is a medium-sized twin engine pressurised plane that has more than double the endurance and range of the helicopters.
- It will be fitted with a daylight and infrared camera and mapping and image detection systems.
- It will be used for aerial observations, searches, training and public reassurance.
The aeroplane contract includes contracted pilots, while the helicopters will be flown by existing police officer pilots.
“Air Wing is a support service available to all of Victoria Police, with call-outs covering a range of issues including search and rescue, crime prevention and detection, direction of ground units, surveillance and urgent transport,” Acting Superintendent Arneil said. “Air Wing has been in operation since the mid-1970s and responds to more than 5000 jobs a year. These new aircraft will greatly assist our response to incidents right across the state.”