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Fri, Sep 25, 2009

West Midlands Police Orders New EC135

Eurocopter Claims 75% Of UK And Irish Police Helos

At this year’s Helitech, Eurocopter UK announced the order of a new EC135 for West Midlands Police Air Support Unit. Eurocopter will provide, at short notice, a fully equipped EC135 police helicopter, featuring the well-known mission pod, to take over the duties of the West Midlands EC135 destroyed by fire in a recent arson attack until the new aircraft is delivered in summer 2010.

Eurocopter’s Static display at Helitech features one of the Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit’s three EC145s, and the brand new EC135P2i of the Suffolk Police. These two aircraft represent the state-of-the-art generation of helicopters most frequently selected by UK Police Forces. Today, Eurocopter holds 75% of the existing UK and Ireland police air support market and reinforces its presence with eight more police helicopters to be delivered within the next two years.

The Suffolk Police EC135 was delivered in June this year and is the first out of six awarded to Eurocopter through the Police Consortium Tender in 2008. It has become an outstanding product created in an intensive dialogue with the end user and based on the Eurocopter UK’s:

  • Long experience in police mission system design and integration.
  • Deep understanding of the helicopter platform.
  • Many years of in-service feedback as well as the extract of Eurocopter’s vast experience with police and homeland security customers in Continental Europe.

EC135 Police Helicopter

Since entry into service, the Suffolk Police helicopter has already logged 200 flight hours. Helicopters #2 and #3 out of the Police Consortium Tender for the Central County and Cheshire Police Air Support Units are already nearing completion at the Eurocopter UK premises in Oxford.

The London “Met” was the first UK police service to put the EC145 into service in 2007. Fitted with the most advanced mission equipment, the EC145 marks a new era in Police Air Support in the United Kingdom. It serves as a key tool in the vigilance against terrorism and adds a new dimension in terms of multi-role capability and lift capacity in the 3.6 ton class. Two new EC145s are on order by the Devon & Cornwall Police and by the Police Services of Northern Ireland; in the latter case, it will complement an EC135 already in service in Belfast.

Markus Steinke, Managing Director of Eurocopter UK, stated, “Combining the characteristics of a helicopter with the specifics of a variety of complex mission systems in order to create a reliable, high performing, easy to use and easy to maintain, flying mission platform for the end user, is a unique capability which only very few entities in the UK really master. We are proud to be the leader in this segment – established over many years together with our police customers”.

FMI: www.eurocopter.com

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