Lithuanian AF Orders 3 Eurocopter AS365 N3 Dauphin Helicopters
Eurocopter will supply three AS365 N3 Dauphin helicopters to the Lithuanian Air Force for a renewed countrywide search and rescue service with around-the-clock availability, adding another customer to the list of global operators using this twin-engine rotorcraft for vital life-saving missions.
The Lithuanian contract – signed October 25 at the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense in Vilnius – involves certain financing support from the European Union, and calls for all three helicopters to be delivered in 2015.
“Eurocopter will provide its full support to the settlement in Lithuania of this important new service, taking the AS365 N3’s already demonstrated mission capabilities in the most challenging operational conditions,” said Jacques Cardaillac, Eurocopter’s Head of Sales Northern Europe.
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“The new helicopters will help to fulfil search and rescue missions and perform environmental monitoring and control which are of high importance for Lithuania. Therefore, by signing this contract today we assure that the Lithuanian Armed Forces will be able to help saving people's lives and promptly respond to various crises in the future, “ Marijus VeliAka, National Defence Vice Minister said at the signing ceremony.
In addition to their search and rescue duties, the Lithuanian Air Force’s AS365 N3 Dauphins will be available for tasks such as observing the effects of drought and floods, tracking crop conditions and plant disease, as well as the monitoring of marine pollution and other environmental dangers.
The 4.5-ton class AS365 N3 retains the distinctive shape of Eurocopter’s Dauphin family and incorporates the company’s Fenestron shrouded tail rotor. Dauphin helicopters have been in service with some 300 customers in 69 countries – among which are 200 Dauphin helicopters operating search and rescue missions. The total Dauphin fleet has accumulated more than five million flight hours.
Within the Eurocopter’s Dauphin helicopter product line, the AS365 N3 is widely operated around the world by military, parapublic and civilian operators, performing search and rescue missions such as the Navies of France, Bulgaria, as well as the Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
When delivered to Lithuania, the three new AS365 N3 rotorcraft will join the Eurocopter EC120, EC135 and EC145 helicopters currently used by the Lithuanian Border Guard for security and law enforcement duties.
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Source : Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)