On August 27, the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior announced its decision in Munich to purchase eight new Eurocopter EC135 P2i helicopters for the Bavarian Police Helicopter Squadron. This will enable the squadron to carry out its work using helicopters of the latest generation. Fitted out with state-of-the-art police equipment, the EC135s are slated for delivery between September 2009 and April 2010.
The EC135’s police-specific equipment includes a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) camera, a high-resolution digital day and night vision camera, SatCOM, GPS, a digital map device, Tetra digital radio, the FLARM collision warning system, a tactical direction finder, a digital flight management system and a GSM telephone. Suitable for operation under IFR (instrument flight rules), the helicopters are fitted with glass cockpits approved for operations with night vision goggles. A rescue hoist, an external load hook system and four rescue winches are also part of the contract. The winches can be installed on each of the eight helicopters as and when required.
The contract signed with the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior includes a letter of intent for power-by-the-hour service over a period of at least ten years.
“In view of the ever-growing demands on police work,” says interior minister Joachim Herrmann, “we are making this new purchase to provide our police helicopter squadron with the latest machines including customized police equipment. In the 1970s, police helicopters were used only for traffic monitoring. Since then, they have adopted a variety of other tasks, including crime fighting, missing-persons searches, support in disaster relief missions, and the handling of special traffic and mission situations. Our police helicopter squadron is in service 24 hours a day and requires the best equipment available to support its work.”
Dr. Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH, recalls the nearly 40-year collaboration between the company and the police helicopter squadron. “In October 1970, our company handed over the first BO105 to the squadron. In June 1983, Bavaria was the first federal state to commission the BK117. From 1998 onwards, both types were gradually replaced by the first generation of our EC135, which is built in Donauwörth, Bavaria, just like the two previous models, and which has been considerably improved and enhanced since that time. Our engineers have gained valuable experience from their work with the Bavarian Police Helicopter Squadron and have brought it to bear in our latest generation of helicopters. So the squadron is now receiving the latest version of the EC135. I am very grateful for this, and for the long-standing trust placed in the Eurocopter company,” said Schoder.
The EC135 – versatile, reliable and cost-efficient
The twin-engine EC135 has a maximum take-off weight of 2,910 kg, a range of 645 km and a maximum cruising speed of 257 km/h. It can accommodate one pilot and six to seven passengers. Its low fuel consumption and easy serviceability make it incomparably reliable and highly efficient to operate.
The EC135’s lasting success and its uncontested leading position worldwide in new-generation twin-engine light helicopters for police and air rescue services can be put down to its innovative and reliable technology. This includes its modular construction, the use of light, corrosion-resistant composites, its digital avionics, its quiet, bearingless main rotor and its Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor. The helicopter’s spacious cabin can be easily accessed through large sliding doors on the sides and through wide rear clamshell doors. It offers optimal usage possibilities and can be rapidly reconfigured. A wide range of authorized special equipment is also available.
One of the most distinctive features of the EC135 is its environmental compatibility. According to official measurements, it is the quietest helicopter in its category, with a noise level 7dB below the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) limit. This level corresponds to a perceptible noise reduction of around 50 percent compared to earlier helicopter generations in the same size category. This aspect is of utmost importance to operators flying over cities or heavily populated areas, as is the case with the police and the air rescue services.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 14,000 people. In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, orders for 615 new helicopters, and a 52% percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30% percent of the total world helicopter fleet.
Bavarian Ministry of the Interior Purchases Eight New EC135 Police Helicopters from Eurocopter