Peru Buys SAR Helicopters
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued Jan 19, 2015)
(Issued in Dutch; unofficial translation by
Peru has bought the three SAR helicopters that the Dutch ministry of defence retired on Dec. 31. Their price has not been made public. (Dutch MoD photo)
Peru will buy three AB 412 Search And Rescue (SAR) helicopters from the Netherlands, including a package of spare parts, test equipment and special tools. Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has today sent a letter to the House of Representatives about the sale.

The signing of the sale contract will likely take place at the end of the month.

Since January 1, Defence no longer operates the yellow AB-412 rescue helicopters. They were used for the for search and rescue (SAR) and for patient transport.

The Air Force took the helicopters in service in 1994.

- Letter from Minister Hennis-Plasschaert on the sale of three AB-412 helicopters to Peru:


Defence Discontinues Use of Yellow Search-And-Rescue Helicopters
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued Dec 08, 2014)
As of 1 January 2015, the Defence organisation has taken its characteristic yellow AB-412 search-and-rescue helicopters out of service. These helicopters, which flew for Defence Helicopter Command, are to be disposed of. Consequently, 303 Squadron, stationed at Leeuwarden Air Base, will be disbanded in the near future.

During the course of 2014, the 3 Defence AB-412 helicopters were deployed over 230 times for carrying out medical transports and Search and Rescue (SAR) tasks for missing persons. In total, the 303 Squadron helicopters made almost 5,500 life-saving and emergency sorties. The AB-412s are being divested on account of the introduction of the new NH90 maritime helicopter.

Medical evacuations guaranteed

The Defence organisation became responsible for medical evacuations from the Frisian Wadden Islands because the surplus capability of AB-412 SAR helicopters offered the option of carrying out the evacuations without additional costs. This surplus capability will no longer be available after the AB-412s have been relinquished. The Defence organisation will nevertheless remain responsible for medical evacuations until an alternative has been found. In the coming period, 2 Cougar transport helicopters, belonging to 300 Squadron, will be deployed from Leeuwarden Air Base as a stopgap measure, allowing Defence to guarantee medical evacuations for the islands until another party is given the task.

Search and Rescue

Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV) will take over the AB-412s SAR tasks from New Year’s Day. These tasks usually involve searching for and rescuing persons missing at sea and carrying out evacuations on ships and oil rigs located in the North Sea. NHV has been carrying out nocturnal SAR operations for the Netherlands Defence organisation since July 2011. The AB-412 was not suitable for nocturnal operations on account of its lack of night-vision equipment.


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