Airbus Helicopters recently delivered the first of two H215s to join the Finnish Border Guard fleet. The helicopter arrived in Finland on 28 February following a training session at the Airbus Helicopters headquarters in Marignane, France.
The H215s will be used to perform Border Security and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) duties from the Turku and Helsinki bases. The Air Patrol Squadron of the Finnish Boarder Guard carries out more than 4,000 flight hours annually, 1,400 of which in three Super Puma helicopters delivered earlier. The service in addition signed a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) contract to retrofit the Super Pumas to the new H215 multirole configuration.
“Finland is the 8th largest country in the European Union but the most sparsely populated, with large sea areas and forest terrains and, due the northern location, very challenging weather conditions for SAR operations,” said colonel Antti Pesari at the Finnish Boarder Guard. “The H215’s avionics and autopilot combined with its capability to provide excellent performance in day or night operations are the reason why we are excited to have it join our fleet.”
The second H215 is set to arrive upon completion of a second training session in April.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Finnish H215. (Image © Airbus Helicopters / Anthony Pecchi)