11/06/2020 | News release | Archived content
First contract signed in the frame of the French stimulus plan for the aerospace industry
Marignane, 5 November 2020 - Airbus Helicopters has been awarded a contract by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) for two five-bladed H145s destined to equip the Sécurité Civile, an agency of the French Ministry of Interior that performs rescue and air medical transport services throughout France.
'The Sécurité Civile has launched an ambitious, multi-year programme to modernise its means of intervention in order to adapt to the evolution and demands of our missions in service of the public. We operate day and night from our 23 bases in France and overseas territories. On average, one person is rescued every 33 minutes by one of our 'Dragon' helicopters and these two new aircraft will, as of 2021, reinforce the operational capacity of the men and women of the French Sécurité Civile service throughout France,' said Prefect Alain Thirion, Director General of the Sécurité Civile.
'We are proud to be providing the Sécurité Civile with two five-bladed H145s and to be signing the first contract of the French stimulus plan for the aerospace industry, which offers Airbus Helicopters visibility while we navigate this global health and economic crisis,' said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. 'The new five-bladed H145 will be an asset to the critical missions that the Sécurité Civile perform as we have seen during the first wave of the pandemic and, more recently, after the flooding in the south eastern part of France,' he added.
Certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in June, this new version of Airbus' best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter brings a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission helicopter, increasing the useful load by 150 kg while delivering new levels of comfort, simplicity, and connectivity. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.
Established in 1957, the helicopter division of the Sécurité Civile operates a fleet of 34 EC145 helicopters on call 24/7 throughout France for rescue missions. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sécurité Civile has performed 268 air medical missions. Recently involved in rescue missions during Storm Alex, which impacted the south eastern part of France, six helicopters evacuated 1,477 people and transported 45 tonnes of food and equipment.
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