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All posts for the day October 16th, 2020

M-REEM – WORLD ROTORS update

Thanks to Graeme LOVELL for this image of the Eurocopter AS355NP Ecureuil 2 M-REEM owned by Kingdom 5-KR-267 Ltd, resting at Beccles, UK in October 2020. This Ecureuil flew for many years in Italy as I-ERPI with Air Corporate.

OVERTDEFENCE .COMBy ED NASH – 23 September 2020.

The Austrian Ministry of Defense has announced that they are planning on ordering 18 Leonardo AW169M helicopters.

The cost of the procurement will be 300 million Euros and first delivery is expected mid-2022. A minimum service life of 30 years is expected.

The new helicopters will replace the Alouette III light liaison and transport helicopters currently in use. These have been in service since 1967 and will be retired at the end of 2023 due to age issues.

Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner announced the decision on Monday, saying that:

“With this helicopter we are buying a highly efficient and modern machine that not only serves the safety of our soldiers, but also the safety of the entire population. We are investing in the safety of Austria.”

The AW169M is certainly a more capable aircraft than it’s predecessor. The helicopter is much more powerful and therefore better suited for use in the mountains. Its modern avionics also make it possible to fly at night and in poor weather conditions.

Capable of carrying ten passengers, the Austrians intend to use the AW169Ms for a wide range of missions, not just transporting personnel and materials but also for extinguishing forest fires, aerial reconnaissance and mountain rescue.

Of the purchase, 12 will be based in Aigen/Ennstal primarily as emergency vehicles whilst the other six will be stationed as trainers in Langenlebarn.

The Austrian MoD state that they chose the Leonardo (formerly Augusta-Westland) design over the comparable Bell 429 and Airbus H-145 because that company offered better terms in cooperation in the areas of training, logistics and aircraft operation.

The Austrians also state that though the aircraft will not be armed they will require the new helicopters to be capable of mounting weapon stations that are able to be fitted within hours, should that be necessary. These could include the ability to use advanced missile systems, though the exact specification is still being discussed with the manufacturer.

Link to the original article online: https://www.overtdefense.com/2020/09/23/austrian-armed-forces-procuring-aw169m-to-replace-aging-alouette-helicopters/

PRESS RELEASE – GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, Oct. 15, 2020

Air Methods Corporation – the largest civil operator of Airbus helicopters worldwide with more than 450 aircraft in operation – has signed a $24 million, five-year HCare Smart support contract with Airbus Helicopters, Inc. to cover its fleet of 31 EC145 helicopters.

“This is the first of what we hope to be multiple HCare contracts, which allows us to partner with Airbus to drive safety, reliability, and cost targets for our customer base,” said Leo Morrissette, EVP of Operations for Air Methods. “This contract provides us peace of mind knowing that we are working with the manufacturer, to provide a higher level of service, and responsiveness for our patients.”

This is Air Methods’ first HCare contract with Airbus, and discussions are underway to extend similar support coverage to other aircraft models in the Air Methods fleet, which also includes the H125, H130, H135 and H145.  Air Methods is the leading air medical service provider, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. Air Methods has a fleet of owned, leased, or maintained aircraft with more than 450 aircraft.

“Air Methods is a key and trusted member of the Airbus family, and we’re extremely proud to help support the life-saving air medical operations they carry out on a daily basis all over the country,” said Anthony Baker, vice president of Customer Support at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “With nose-to-tail airframe coverage for their EC145 fleet, we will collaborate with Air Methods to  support efficient management, streamline costs and eliminate surprises, with the intent of increasing operational availability and allowing Air Methods to focus its resources on its core business of fully supporting its customer base.” 

HCare is Airbus Helicopters’ comprehensive services offering, delivering tailor-made and competitive solutions to customers. It spans five domains: material management, helicopter maintenance, technical support, training and flight operations, and connected services, with experts available on-call 24/7. The HCare material management service starts out with Easy (on-request catalogue services) and Smart (four by-the-hour options), before progressively building up to Infinite (full availability commitments).