UK-headquartered Babcock is set to become the global launch customer for the Airbus Helicopters H160 after signing a five-year frame agreement to purchase a fleet of the type. Destined for EMS and other critical services missions, the H160 fleet will begin operation in Europe, and will be deployed progressively across Babcock's bases worldwide.
“The H160 was a natural choice for our operations as its large cabin, low vibration levels and state-of-the-art technology will make it a safe and comfortable environment for mission critical services to work in,” says chief executive of aviation Roger Hardy. “We are sure that the innovations the H160 brings to the market will help us deliver our high standards of quality, safety and cost-effectiveness.”
With 68 patents, the H160 integrates a number of new technologies, including sound-reducing Blue Edge blades, good external visibility for passengers and pilots, and Helionix's flight envelope protection. Airbus Helicopters hopes to have a 'time to market' of 24 weeks.
Babcock's aviation unit provides aerial EMS, firefighting, SAR, surveillance and oil and gas transportation.