DH - Defence Helicopter

Lithuania receives first SAR Dauphin

4th June 2015 - 15:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Lithuanian Air Force received the first of three AS365 N3+ Dauphin search and rescue (SAR) helicopters on 2 June. The second and third helicopters will be delivered by Airbus Helicopters by the end of 2015.

The Lithuanian armed forces signed the order for three Dauphins with Eurocopter in October 2013, in a contract worth around $58.14 million. The contract includes the helicopters as well as related equipment, training of pilots and maintenance personnel and three years of after-sales service.

The AS365 N3+ Dauphin will replace the Russian Mi-8 helicopter fleet currently being used by the air force that is reaching the end of its service life.

The new aircraft will be used to perform a range of defence, security and environmental missions.

Juozas Olekas, Minister of National Defence, said: 'We are retiring dated Russian-manufactured helicopters and continue to fit up our armed forces with western equipment. It matters to us that our pilots will fly more up-to-date, new and more efficient aircraft.'

The AS365 N3+ Dauphin is equipped with several radio station types for air, maritime and ground communication as well as communication with SAR coordination centres. It has a weather-SAR radar, searchlight, infrared radar and other SAR equipment, autopilot table hovering and gust correction capabilities.

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