Spanish Air Force takes delivery of its first H215 and NH90

viernes, 7 de octubre de 2016




H125

  • The aircraft will be the first H215 in service in Spain
  • It will be based on Gran Canaria to perform Search and Rescue missions
Albacete – In a ceremony held at the Airbus Helicopters plant in Albacete, the Spanish Air Force yesterday took receipt of its first H215, a robust, cost-effective latest-generation helicopter with an extensive mission capability. The purchase was negotiated in July by the Spanish Ministry of Defense, through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA).

A member of the tried-and-tested Super Puma family, the H215 is a twin-engine, heavy rotorcraft equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, which complies with the most stringent safety standards. Its onboard equipment includes multi-function digital screens and an advanced 4-axis autopilot which provides flight envelope protection, unrivalled precision, and stability in even the harshest operating conditions.

The aircraft carried out final test flights at the Albacete plant on 22 September, where it was painted and fitted with specific mission systems enhancing its Search and Rescue (SAR) and Personnel Recovery/CSAR missions. The Air Force’s H215 boasts additional fuel tanks that extend its range up to 560 Km, an emergency buoyancy system, a high-frequency radio, a hoist, and a cockpit compatible with night vision goggles, among other equipment.

The Spanish Air Force operates several helicopters belonging to the Super Puma family, in both civil and military versions. The aircraft operate in 3 SAR Squadrons as well as in the 402 Air Force Squadron, which is responsible for the transport of senior government officials. The new H215 will be assigned to the Air Force’s 802 Squadron/RCC Canarias and will arrive at its base in Gando (Gran Canaria) before the end of the year.

The new helicopter will enter into service straightaway, following a short training program for crews, who already have extensive experience of flying other versions of the Super Puma.

“We are very grateful to the Air Force for its renewed confidence, and I am proud to be here today to deliver a helicopter that is not only powerful, rapid and reliable, but also cost-effective, offering a highly optimized operating costs,” said Francisco Vergé, General Manager of Airbus Helicopters in Spain. “I wish you many flight hours, all with our first-rate support, which we are committed to providing you with.”


NH90

  • The NH90 is entering into service for the first time with the Spanish Army
  • The helicopters will be operated by the Army Airmobile Force
  • Airbus Helicopters will deliver a total of five NH90s to the Directorate General of Armament and Equipment by the end of 2016


Madrid, Today, the Directorate General of Armament and Equipment (DGAM) completed the transfer of the first two NH90tactical transport helicopters from the Airbus Helicopters plant in Albacete to the Spanish Army. The handover was made at the Coronel Maté Air Base in Colmenar Viejo, the headquarter of the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) and marked the entry into service of the NH90 within the FAMET. The ceremony was conducted by Lieutenant General Juan Bautista García Sánchez, the head of the Spanish Army’s Logistic Support Command Center, who was accompanied by a number of civil and military dignitaries.

The NH90s, which the Army has renamed HT-29 Caimans, will form part of FAMET’s Third Manoeuvre Helicopter Battalion (BHELMA III), based at the Héroes del Revellín Barracks in Agoncillo. A third helicopter was already transferred earlier this month to the FAMET and is stationed at the Agoncillo base, where it is performing training missions. Two additional NH90s will be delivered by Airbus Helicopters by the end of the year, making it five aircraft handed over in 2016. In total, the company will supply 22 NH90 helicopters to the Spanish Armed Forces, under a delivery schedule that runs up to 2021.

On December 18, 2014, Airbus Helicopters signed an agreement with the Spanish Ministry of Defense for the delivery of the first NH90 GSPA tactical transport helicopter for FAMET. The aircraft was wholly assembled at Airbus Helicopters plant in Albacete and successfully completed the industrial, airworthiness certification and technical acceptance phases; a process in which the DGAM and Airbus Helicopters collaborated closely. Since 2014, Airbus Helicopters has delivered a total of three NH90s to the DGAM. The aircraft have been used to provide training for the first squad of Army pilots qualified to fly the helicopter.

Promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Defense, supported by the Ministry of Industry and managed by the DGAM, the NH90 program is the first that aims to meet the operational needs of the three branches of the Spanish Armed Forces. It is based on a common platform adapted to the requirements of each mission and featuring all the latest technological developments. As a result, it seeks to improve effectiveness and streamline operating expenses by reducing and modernizing the current fleet of helicopters, while also ensuring their sustainability over time.

The Spanish version of the NH90, the GSPA, has been designed to perform technical missions such as troop transport, search and rescue, personnel recovery and medical evacuation. It is equipped for day and night operations in all types of environments. Opened in 2007, the Airbus Helicopters plant in Albacete is responsible for the assembly of all NH90 helicopters for the Spanish Armed Forces, along with manufacture of the front fuselage section—both for Spanish helicopters and for those earmarked for export. It is also the only plant in the world to manufacture the rear fuselage of the Tiger helicopter, and the only Spanish facility with a helicopter-manufacturing capability.

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