As part of the modernisation program of its aerial resources the Swedish National Police (Polisflyget) buys seven new Bell 429 helicopters. The deal was signed this week at the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show.
The aircraft will be used for surveillance, reconnaissance, maintaining public order, aerial photography, aid in rescue missions and police transportation. Polisflyget, the aviation department of the Rikskriminalpolisen (National Police), currently operates six Eurocopter EC135 P2+ from Boden in the far north (1), Göteborg-Säve City Airport (1), Stockholm-Arlanda IAP (2), Malmö-Sturup IAP (1) and Åre-Östersund Airport (1). The police helicopter unit has about 60 personnel.
Bell is not new to the Swedish police, which began operating the Bell 47 G-2A in 1964. An “newer” Bell 206 Jet Ranger still serves as a flight trainer at the National Police’s own flight school. The new Bell 429s will be delivered in 2015. The Swedes will not be the first to field the 429 for police duties, amongst others the Fairfax County police uses the type.
Apart from its own force the Swedish National Police also has the possibility to call in extra support from Swedish Defence Forces Helicopter Unit (Försvarsmaktens Helikopterflottiljen) headquartered at Linköping-Malmen. Since January 2014 the Armed Forces Hkp 15 (NHI NH90) and Hkp 16 (Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk) will be available at request of the police authorities. The new police Bell 429s are larger than the EC135s in current use with the police and can be easier used to insert a limited number of SWAT team members into a situation zone.
Source: Bell Helicopters / Polisen