Tag Archives: AS365

Recap: defense orders at Paris Air Show

UPDATED 19 June | As always its the orders for airliners that fight for attention at the Paris Air Show, but on the military side, things are happening as well. Most interesting little fact was the apparent first export order – announced on Monday – for the Pakistan-made JF-17 Thunder, although no country was mentioned. Let’s not be surprised however when it turns out to be Myanmar.

Pakistan Air Force officials only described the country that soon may add the JF-17 to its military inventory, as ‘Asian’. The same officials reported that current turmoil in the Middle East has slowed down export talks. The JF-17’s development meanwhile continues, with a possible two seat version on the way.

On the slower spectrum, Mali and Ghana agreed to buy six and five A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft respectively, while Saudi Arabia signed for four Airbus C295W medium transport and patrol aircraft. Perhaps the most prominent deal was the purchase of four Boeing C-17s for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

As far as helicopters are concerned, Malaysia placed an order with Airbus Helicopters for two AS365 Dauphins for SAR duties.

Unnoticed by many was the first sale for Aero Vodochody of its new L-39NG aircraft. More on that is here.

Dassault’s Rafale was the most numerous aircraft. Three Rafales were on the ground, while a fourth gave a flying display. In the trade halls, models of Rafales in the colours of Qatar, India and Egypt were seen. Given the recent orders from those countries, further Rafale sales are unlikely.

Also in the halls, Alenia Aermacchi was pitching its M-345 jet trainer. France is reportedly interested in this trainer aircraft. Elsewhere, Antonov was pitching its new An178 transporter. The Ukrainian company also announced the An188, a military transport aircraft in the A400M and Boeing C-17 category, powered by four turbofan engines.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): Caught by its tail: a Black Panther’s JF-17 from Pakistan. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Lithuanian Air Force’s first Dauphin

The Lithuanian Air Force received its first of three Airbus Helicopters (Aérospatiale / Eurocopter) AS365N3+ Dauphins on 2 June 2015. Before the end of the year the new search and rescue / environmental patrol asset is expected to number all three machines.

Russian-made Mil Mi-8 Hip choppers will be replaced with the new Western European helicopter already operational with many of the world’s armed force and SAR services. The main task of the Dauphins is civil and military SAR, including missions supporting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. The latter meaning the rescue of fighter jocks of NATO’s combat aircraft in case they eject from their planes in case of an emergency.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Environment, which co-purchased the machines with the Ministry of Defence, gets 75 flight hours on the Dauphins a year, for environmental observation and control. The AS365s are also to deploy as fire-fighters and to transport organs for transplantation.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces signed the procurement contract with Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) on the three Eurocopter AS365N3+ Dauphins in October 2013, for about 52 million euro including the training of pilots.

The Dauphins are equipped with a weather/SAR radar, infrared sensors, searchlight, an autopilot and other equipment to make recovery of people possible about 125 miles (200 km) from the take-off point possible. The Lithuanian Armed Forces have SAR detachments at Kaunas-Aleksotas in the south of the country and at Nemirseta on the Baltic Sea coast in the west.

Source: Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania

The first of three AS365N3+ Dauphins arrive in Lithuania on 2 June 2015 (Image © Lithuanian Ministry of Defence)
The first of three AS365N3+ Dauphins arrive in Lithuania on 2 June 2015 (Image © Lithuanian Ministry of Defence)

New Zealand Orion back in Fiji defence

New Zealand has re-established its defence cooperation with neighbouring Fiji. For the first time in almost a decade a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft, a Lockheed P-3K2 Orion in this case, patrolled the Fiji exclusive economic zone, Radio New Zealand reports.

Fiji Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrew the legitimate government in the capital of Suva in December 2006, by announcing he took control, launching “military exercises” around Suva and taking control of the weaponry of the Fujian police. The army then took control of other government buildings and took over the parliament while it was in session to condemn the coup. It prompted nations like New Zealand to cut the ties with Fiji, a nation of 332 islands.

Related story: ↑ New Zealand Orion update nears completion

Democratic elections were held in Fuji in September 2014. Bainimarama won these elections, considered fair by international observers. The former military strongman is now a democratic elected leader and therefore New Zealand sees good reason to restart its military cooperation with its neighbour.

RFMF Air Wing
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) exist of only a land forces and navy element, with 3,500 troops on strength. The Air Wing of two helicopters was disbanded in 1997, after a decade of operations. Its Aérospatiale AS365N2 Dauphin crashed in July 1994, its Aérospatiale AS355F2 was sold to France in 1999.

Laucala Bay
The RNZAF P-3K2 patrol flight on 31 January 2015 coincides with the 50th Anniversary year of the withdrawal of No. 5 Squadron from Laucala Bay Base on the island of Taveuni in Fiji. It was formed there in 1941 flying the Vickers Vincents. It flew Short Sunderland MR.5s until 1965 when it started a 2 year relocation to RNZAF Base Auckland (Whenuapai) to start flying the then brand new Lockheed P-3B Orion. The squadron currently flies six modernized P-3K2 Orions, with the final updates planned for later this year.

No word yet on when the next RNZAF Orion patrol flight will take place.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by the RNZAF

RNZAF No. 5 Squadron started operations in Fiji in 1941 with the Vickers Vincents, an aircraft similar to this RAF Vickers Vildebeest Mk2 practicing a torpedo drop in 1936 (Image (PD) Imperial War Museum)
RNZAF No. 5 Squadron started operations in Fiji in 1941 with the Vickers Vincents, an aircraft similar to this RAF Vickers Vildebeest Mk2 practicing a torpedo drop in 1936 (Image (PD) Imperial War Museum)
RNZAF Orion NZ4201 seen overhead Whenuapai on 30 March 2012 (Image © New Zealand Defence Force)
RNZAF Orion NZ4201 seen overhead Whenuapai on 30 March 2012 (Image © New Zealand Defence Force)

Brazilian Army Aviation receives updated Panther

A Brazilian Army Aviation Command HM-1 Pantera (foreground) and a Esquilo (Image © Comando de Aviação do Exército)
A Brazilian Army Aviation Command HM-1 Pantera (foreground) and a HB350L1 Esquilo (Image © Comando de Aviação do Exército)

The Brazilian Army Aviation Command (Comando de Aviação do Exército) receives the first two upgraded Eurocopter/Helibras AS565 AA/HM-1 Pantera K2 helicopters this month, Helibras confirmed on 12 March 2014.

The Comando Aviação do Exército will first test these new machines and incorporate its evaluation in the expected order for the modification of the remaining 32 Panthers, as the type is marketed internationally. Target is to keep the army version of the Eurocopter/Airbus Helicopter AS365 Dauphin flying for another 25 years.

Fitted with new Arriel 2C2CGs the Brazilian Army Panteras will have 40 percent more engine power, plus a new tail rotor. Moreover, a so-called glass cockpit will be installed, as well as a 4-axis autopilot. The light attack and scout helicopters crews will get night vision goggles and get better situational awareness from a new weather radar, new navigation and communication gear plus a new altimeter.

The upgraded Pantera K2 will have a top speed of 175 knots (324 kmh) – 25 /46 kmh) more than earlier – and a take-off weight of 9479 lbs (4,300 kg). The chopper can be flown by either a single or two pilots and is able to transport up to 10 troops.

Source: Helibras

Lithuanian Air Force orders Dauphins

The Eurocopter AS365 N3 (Image ©  Antony Pecchio / Eurocopter)
The Eurocopter AS365 N3 (Image © Antony Pecchio / Eurocopter)

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.

Source: Eurocopter