Devon & Cornwall Police take delivery of a new EC145 helicopter
On Friday 5 March the Devon & Cornwall Police took delivery of a new EC145 helicopter.
This most modern machine was customised at Eurocopter UK in Oxford to meet the demanding needs of the modern police service. It is equipped with the latest aids to police reconnaissance and airborne crime fighting. Included is a state-of-the-art Infra Red camera, sophisticated video viewing and recording equipment, and night vision goggles which enable the crew to see at night almost as well as in the day.
This EC145 was ordered in September 2007, after the police aviation specialists had assessed all the competition, as the finest helicopter available to serve the public of Devon and Cornwall. It replaces another Eurocopter helicopter, the earlier BK117 which has seen sterling service for over 12 years. The Devon and Cornwall Police are pioneers of police aviation in the UK and have operated helicopters in support of police activities for more than 25 years.
The introduction into service of this new EC145 by the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, due to its increased load carrying capacity, represents a further major development of the use of Eurocopter products as a cost-effective and flexible application of helicopters in support of future police ground operations and strategy. It is capable of 2 crew operation, a pilot and an observer who can operate either out of the cockpit or in the cabin of the helicopter.
Eurocopter products represent 75% of the UK police helicopter fleet in service and have proven to be the favourite solutions for police air support all across Europe. The EC145 is a top performer in police and homeland security missions, is also operated by the Metropolitan Police and features high commonality with its slightly smaller sister the EC135. Furthermore, it is under delivery to the U.S. Army as its new-generation Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
Markus Steinke, Managing Director of Eurocopter UK, stated, “It is a pleasure to see the UK police force community moving forward and shaping the future. Our products and services which have become the backbone of the UK air support for many decades will be ready to accompany the evolutions of our customers’ needs.”
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