(August 27, 2008) -- 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(r) 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 Donauworth, 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.
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