Ecuador MoD receives AS550 C3A Fennec helicopters
Eurocopter has announced that it delivered two AS550 C3 Fennec helicopters to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in September. The aircraft are the first two of seven ordered under a contract signed in 2010.
The company officially delivered the aircraft at a ceremony held at Eurocopter’s Marignane facility in southern France on 25 September. According to the company, the Ecuadorian delegation visit also provided an opportunity to continue discussions on an order for a second batch of aircraft. The Ecuadorian MoD is planning to progressively replace their Gazelle and Lama fleet, some of which have been in service for several decades.
The 2010 contract also included two AS350 B2s, which were delivered in December 2011; and two Fennecs will be delivered per year until 2015 to fulfil the order.
Ecuadorian Defense Minister, Miguel Carvajal, said: ‘The delivery of these two new helicopters represents a further step forward under the Ecuadorian Army’s ambitious modernisation programme. Our air force will have a new generation of helicopters with higher performance levels and lower maintenance costs.’
The new Fennecs will perform a wide range of missions including rescue, reconnaissance, drug enforcement and border patrol from their base at Porto Viejo. The Ecuadorian Armed Forces were one of the first armies in Latin America to integrate Eurocopter aircraft into their fleet, and they now have more than 20 Eurocopter helicopters, including two Ecureuil AS350 Bs, two Ecureuil AS350 B2s, three SA315 B Lamas, two SA316 B Alouettes, seven SA342 Gazelles and five AS332 Super Pumas.
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