Eurocopter's extensive military helicopter presence in the Arab world is showcased by its high-profile participation at Jordan's SOFEX exhibition
Eurocopter’s dedication to meeting the operational requirements of governments, armed forces and special mission operators across the Arab world with its broad helicopter product line will be highlighted at Jordan’s Special Operations Forces Exhibition & Conference (SOFEX).
This biennial event – organized May 7-10 at the King Abdullah I Airbase in Amman – will feature the presence of a Eurocopter EC635 utilized by the Royal Jordanian Air Force in law enforcement operations, along with a Royal Jordanian Air Force AS350 B3 that provides utility services. Eurocopter’s exhibit located in front of Chalet CD8 is to include scale models of the company’s AS565 Panther and AS550 Fennec rotorcraft.
“With an extensive footprint in Arab nations – and the company’s commitment to providing top-level support – Eurocopter looks forward to continuing its role as a preferred helicopter supplier for the full spectrum of military and civilian use,” said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations. “Designed and equipped with the latest technology, our helicopters are able to perform their missions in the most severe operational environments and demanding situations.”
More than 650 Eurocopter helicopters currently are flying across the Middle East and through the Arabian Gulf – with over 80 percent in military use to support missions ranging from combat, transport, search and rescue (SAR) to counter-terrorism, special operations and training.
New business opportunities for Eurocopter include the evolving needs in air coverage for security, border patrol and support missions; the expanded civilian operations resulting from an opening of airspace that had been reserved for the military in numerous countries; and the overall renewal of aging rotary-wing aircraft fleets.
Jordan has operated the company’s rotorcraft for more than 30 years. In addition to AS332 Super Pumas used for troop transport and search & rescue, the Royal Jordanian Air Force’s current Eurocopter fleet also incorporates AS350s for pilot training and VIP airlift, along with EC635s for multi-mission duties. In addition, the Jordan Public Security Air Wing operates EC635s and BO105s.
Eurocopter’s display of the AS565 Panther in scale model form at SOFEX underscores this helicopter’s attributes of speed and maneuverability for security and defense missions, with its operational credentials further enhanced by the twin-engine helicopter’s endurance, range and capabilities in overwater surveillance, tracking and search & rescue. The AS565 has been proven in Middle East operations for the protection of coastlines and surveillance of offshore economic zones with countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
The AS550 Fennec, which also is present at SOFEX as a scale model, meets the Arab world’s requirements for a highly-capable multi-role military helicopter, and is well suited for extremely hot climates and high altitudes. Applications include combat missions, fire support, observation, protection and training. More than 4,850 helicopters from Eurocopter’s Ecureuil/Fennec family have been delivered in single-engine and twin-engine versions to over 90 countries, which include such customers as the United Arab Emirates’ armed forces and the Royal Flight of Oman.
With the concentration of Eurocopter helicopters in the Arab world, the company has focused on deploying resources to ensure the highest levels of maintenance, overhaul and support for its helicopters in the region. This includes a maintenance contract covering the G-level major inspections for Royal Jordanian Air Force Super Puma AS332 M1s, which are performed every 12 years.
Eurocopter also has a maintenance center in the United Arab Emirates with long-standing partner Falcon Aviation Services, which provides full maintenance and revision services – reinforcing the company’s customer support network in the region and supplementing Eurocopter’s platform in Abu Dhabi.
Another element in Eurocopter’s local presence strategy is its agreement with Global Aerospace Logistics, LLC, establishing this Abu Dhabi-based supplier of professional aerospace services in the United Arab Emirates as a provider of routine customer support services for the UAE Navy and UAE Presidential Guard Command – including new spare parts, repairs, training and technical publications.
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Source : Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)