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Sun, Aug 21, 2011

Japan Coast Guard To Boost Its Fleet With New EC225 Helicopters

Aircraft Used In Intensive Rescue Missions Following The Japanese Earthquake And Tsunami

Following intensive relief operations after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March, the Japan Coast Guard, Eurocopter Group and Eurocopter Japan have signed a tripartite contract for the supply of three additional EC225 helicopters to the Japan Coast Guard. These aircraft will be the first civilian helicopters to be equipped with the most advanced mission system, to be deployed for search and rescue as well as law enforcement missions.

Procurement of the EC225s was decided after the Japanese Coast Guard efficiently carried out rescue and relief efforts following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the country on March 11, but unfortunately had aircraft submerged during the disaster that were rendered unserviceable. The acquisition will replenish the fleet with new aircraft that have the technology and capability to carry out complex search and rescue (SAR) as well as anti-piracy missions.

"We are very proud to have our helicopters contributing to saving lives every day in Japan," said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. "The Eurocopter Japan team, which provided round-the-clock support to their customers after the Tohoku tragedy, remains totally committed to ensure that the helicopter missions can be performed in the best and safest conditions."

The Japan Coast Guard initially purchased two EC225s in 2006 through an open tender, complementing their AS332 L1 fleet for long range all-weather SAR missions as well as for ship-borne operations.
 
"The decision by the Japan Coast Guard to acquire additional EC225s this year was taken in view of its new assignment for anti-piracy missions, while also taking into account the outstanding performance of their existing EC225 helicopters - which have been used intensively since delivery, as demonstrated during the disaster relief operations," explained Stephane Ginoux, President and CEO of Eurocopter Japan. "Together, the service's EC225 and AS332 L1 fleet will be able to continue serving the country and saving lives under severe circumstances."

FMI: www.eurocopter.com

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