The Lithuanian Air Force ordered three Eurocopter (Aérospatiale) AS365 N3 Dauphin helicopters at the end of October. The aircraft are to replace aging Mi-8 Hips.
The Dauphins will be deployed for the country’s search-and-rescue services. The deal was signed on 25 October 2013 in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. The choppers are due to be delivered in 2015.
In addition to their search and rescue duties, the Lithuanian Air Force (Karines Oro Pajegos) 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 AS365 N3 is a 4.5 ton class helicopter with a shrouded tail rotor. The Dauphins have been delivered to 300 customers in 69 countries. About 200 of them are engaged in search-and-rescue, disaster relief or medevac operations.
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.