Namibia orders EC-145 helicopter


Namibia’s safety and security has ordered a EC-145 helicopter from Eurocopter.

Namibia’s Ministry of Safety and Security has ordered a Eurocopter EC145 to expand the capabilities and reach of the Namibia police’s air wing, the company announced.

The new twin-engine helicopter will complement Namibia’s existing fleet of Eurocopter Ecureuil AS350 B3s in providing comprehensive multi-mission civil protection capabilities.

Manufacture of the rotary-wing aircraft will begin at Eurocopter’s Donauworth facility in Germany, where it will be fitted with airborne law enforcement and rescue equipment for the aircraft’s delivery in September 2012.

“The EC145’s acquisition is part of an evolving modernization program that enables NAMPOL to fulfill its duty in providing civil protection and law enforcement to all Namibians,” said Lt. Gen. Sebastian Haitota Ndeitunga, inspector general of NAMPOL.

NAMPOL will be the first sub-Saharan police force to operate the Eurocopter EC145, which is a top performer in law enforcement and homeland security missions around the globe. Other EC145 operators include London’s Metropolitan Police Authority, the French Gendarmerie and numerous European and U.S. state police forces.

The U.S. Army has ordered 345 EC145s as its new-generation Light Utility Helicopter requirement, which carry the UH-72A designation in its operation with the military service.

“Deployment of the newly acquired EC145 will also grow NAMPOL’s capability and capacity to provide emergency search and rescue, life-saving and vital humanitarian relief support,” said Namibian Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Safety and Security Samuel H. Goagoseb.

The multi-mission EC145 can be flown by one or two pilots and carries up to nine passengers. It is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 engines, enabling it to achieve a fast cruise speed of 135 knots and an endurance of up to 3.5 flight hours.

Featuring an advanced night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpit, the EC145 is able to operate in poor visibility conditions, while its digital autopilot allows for either single or dual pilot missions.

The helicopter’s unrefueled range is approximately 422 miles and it operates with a low noise level that is 6.7dB below the international standard for similarly sized helicopters.

“These features, together with its simplified maintenance, make the EC145 the natural choice to augment NAMPOL’s pair of single-engine AS350B3 helicopters, the first of which has been in service since 2009,” said Fabrice Cagnat, chief executive officer of Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd.

“Together, the EC145 and AS350B3 will provide NAMPOL with unparalleled performance in Namibia — a country that is typified by extreme conditions, including the very hot, dry and dusty conditions in the central plateau and desert regions.”

NAMPOL has contracted with Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd. to provide EC145 type conversion training for pilots and engineers. This activity will take place at Eurocopter in Germany and at ESAL’s base near Johannesburg, South Africa.

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