Airbus Helicopters is making progress on the US law enforcement market. In just one week news of deliveries and orders to four major American police forces came in.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) got its third H125 AStar (previously known as the AS350 B3e), with another two on order. They replacing the older AS350s – known in the US as AStar – that the CPH has been flying for 30 years.
The LAPD has taken delivery of its first H125 as part of its plan to upgrade from AS350 B2 helicopters to the more capable H125. The final touches on the chopper will be executed by the City of Los Angeles Department of General Services before the new helicopter enters service.
Ohio State Highway Patrol
The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) is the premier buyer of the first H125 AStar to be produced in the USA by American workers, Airbus Helicopters announced at the ALEA Expo in Houston. The rotary wing will roll out of the new final assembly line at Airbus Helicopters’ production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, later this year. The OSHP currently operates two AS350B2 AStars to conduct a wide variety of law enforcement missions including patrol, aerial searches with thermal imagers, photo missions and marijuana eradication. The highway patrol has been operating AStars for more than 20 years.
Airbus Helicopters installed the Columbus final assembly line to allow shorter delivery times, increased aircraft customization and the ability for customers to see their aircraft being manufactured, and to offer enhanced customer support. The H125 assembly line is part of Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s 40-acre facility in Northeastern Mississippi that also produces the UH-72A Lakota for the US Army. The plant has delivered more than 340 Lakotas to date, all of them on time, on budget and meeting Army quality requirements.
Suffolk County Police
Last is the Suffolk County Police Department – in other words the law enforcement force of Long Island, New York, just got its second H145 helicopter (previously known as EC145) to join the existing fleet of one H145 and two AS350 B2s. The newest H145 will replace an older AS350 B2 AStar.
The Suffolk County H145s primarily conduct medical evacuation missions across Long Island. They are also equipped to perform law enforcement missions with a thermal imager, searchlight and moving map system. The AS350 B2s primarily conduct calls for law enforcement services and are back-up aircraft for air medical transport missions. The Suffolk County Police Department’s Aviation Section performs a wide variety of missions including law enforcement, medical evacuation, inter-hospital transport and search and rescue.
Source: Airbus Helicopters Inc.
Featured image: The LAPD’s newest H125 (Image © Airbus Helicopters Inc.)