Eurocopter recent delivered its third AS365 N3 to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) of Japan. The brand new aircraft began operations directly on August 6th, 2013, in the Miyagi Prefecture.
This particular machine replaced the FDMA’s BK117 C-2 which was damaged during the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. It will not only rush to the fire, it will also be used as scout for disaster prevention, for emergency medical transport and for rescue missions. On call of the FDMA it can be dispatched to anywhere in the Japanese empire.
The 4.5-ton AS365 N3 is part of Eurocopter’s Dauphin family. Currently, more than 50 AS365s are operated in Japan.
Eurocopter also leads the fire-fighting segment in Japan with a 60 percent market share. Apart from the AS365, the Super Puma and the Bölkow BK117 are used. The latter has been jointly developed with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries.