(10/03/2006) -- Eurocopter is the world's leader helicopter manufacturer in terms of turnover. The company offers the broadest range of helicopters in the industry, from light single-engine helicopters to light and medium twins as well as medium-heavy transport helicopters, both for civil and military missions. More than 9,500 Eurocopter helicopters are in service in 139 countries with 2,500 customers.
Greece presently operates more than 35 Eurocopter helicopters of the BO 105, AS 350/355 Ecureuil, Alouette and Super Puma types in police, rescue, SAR and commercial services.
In 1998, the Greek Merchant Marine ordered 4 Super Puma AS 332 C1 helicopters for Search And Rescue (SAR) duties. This was followed in 2002 by another contract for 4 Super Puma AS 332 C1s for Combat SAR missions for the Hellenic Air Force, and in 2004 an additional 2 aircraft with Medevac configuration.
In 2003, Eurocopter and the Greek MoD signed a contract for the supply of six Dauphin AS 365 N3 helicopters. Entered in service for the 2004 Olympic Games and fitted with radar, infrared cameras, loudspeakers and emergency flotation gear, the helicopters perform day and night surveillance and patrol missions for the Port Police. They are now operated together with greek port police and Navy pilots.
Other sales include two EC 135 for the Hellenic Police, three BK 117, two AS 332 L1 for the Hellenic Fire Brigade and eight EC120 for commercial operators.
In 2003, the Hellenic Army Aviation ordered twenty NH-90 military transport helicopter (plus 14 options), proving the trust of the Greek government in EADS as a global and longstanding partner. The first helicopters should be operational by end of 2006.
Operational requirements of the Hellenic Army, may lead to an increase in the number of options to be exercised by the Greek government.
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