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Sécurité Civile to enhance SAR capability with EC145 fleet retrofit
The Sécurité Civile, an agency of the French Ministry of Interior that performs SAR and medevac across France, has opted to retrofit the avionics suites of its 35 EC145 rotorcraft.
Read this story in our June 2016 printed issue.

The Sécurité Civile, an agency of the French Ministry of Interior that performs SAR and medevac across France, has opted to retrofit the avionics suites of its 35 EC145 rotorcraft. The contract has been awarded to Airbus Helicopters by the French Defence Procurement Agency.

As part of this retrofit, all aircraft will be equipped with an improved avionics suite, allowing them to retain their ability to perform missions safely in all weather conditions, while complying with the latest perfor-mance based navigation regulations.

“This retrofit programme ensures that our EC145s will remain capable of completing the most demanding operations with the highest levels of safety,” says Sécurité Civile head of aviation Victor Devouge. “This fleet is now enjoying an availability rate of around 95 per cent which is absolutely essential in allowing us to perform our daily operations.”

Airbus Helicopters executive VP of customer support and services Matthieu Louvot adds: “We are very proud of the trust that the Sécurité Civile has placed in our support and services with this second contract in less than a year. It is a great honour for us to be confirmed as the industrial partner of choice by this EC145 operator to which we are also providing a comprehensive, nose-to-tail global service solution.”

The retrofit of the 35 aircraft follows on from the global services solution contract for the Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale's EC145 fleet awarded at the end of 2015. The aircraft will be retrofitted over a seven-year period by Airbus Helicopters personnel deployed at the Sécurité Civile base in Nîmes in order to minimise the impact on operational activity. The mechanical and electrical modifications necessary to integrate functions such as LPV/SBAS guidance, digital maps, and GPS installations have also been optimised, to reduce the length of the retrofit process.

Established in 1957, the helicopter division of the Sécurité Civile operates a fleet of 35 EC145 on call 24/7 throughout France. In 2015 it flew over 16,000 flight hours, rescuing 16,000 people.

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