Norwegian MRO Heli-One has agreed a helicopter upgrade contract with the German Federal Ministry of Interior to modify its incoming Airbus H215 fleet and existing AS332 Super Puma aircraft. The upgrade project covers four H215s with an option for an additional 16 AS332L1/H215 aircraft and in its entirety will take up to eight years. The work will take place at the company's Stavanger facility, and each aircraft will have dozens of modifications with the latest technology to make it flexible and mission-ready for its complex operational use. The German Federal Ministry of Interior will benefit from Heli-One's experience in developing and implementing industry-leading modifications with a focus on crew requirements.
The fleet is operated by the Federal Police (Bundespolizei), providing public safety services for German citizens and participating in international missions. Its large and diverse fleet will see four Airbus H215 helicopters enter into service in 2020 to join the existing 19 AS332L1s, 42 H135s (and variants), 19 H155s, and 10 H120s. The aircraft perform a range of missions including search and rescue, border security, maritime protection, disaster response, transportation, counter-terrorism and supporting international and regional efforts for the United Nations and European Union.
The contract focuses on installing post-delivery mission equipment to harmonise the H215 with the existing fleet to make them mission ready as soon as possible. Each H215 will receive over 50 modifications, including cabin installations, communication/navigation equipment, search lights, cameras and rescue equipment. Additional AS332L1/H215s will also have upgrades to bring them up to operational conformity with the fleet.
“We are excited to help the Bundespolizei make its new H215s ready to provide critical services for its citizens and other countries in the region. We value the long-standing working relationship we have developed with its team and will continue to provide the best design solutions for its crew,” says Heli-One president Eddie Lane.
Heli-One has worked closely with the Bundespolizei for years and is currently performing a modernisation programme for the AS332L1s, installing a glass display-based cockpit solution with a complementary multi-mission flight management system. In addition, Heli-One has worked closely with the flight team to develop additional solutions that have aided crew efficiency such as customised mission equipment and navigation system improvements.
“Our focus has been on identifying and securing revenue-generating long term government contracts and this is a major validation of this strategy. We continue to increase our market share in the defence sector and compete and win in a number of markets,” comments senior sales director Kevin Charles. “We have a fantastic team and I am extremely proud to be part of our success in this H215 and AS332L1 contract award.”
Heli-One has supported the Super Puma platform for more than 30 years, as well as military and civil customers, and practically every mission profile that utilises this adaptable platform. Support offerings include everything from nose-to-tail, including engines and comprehensive maintenance support. In-house design teams on two continents have developed more than 40 supplemental type certificates (STCs) for this helicopter type and continue to find innovative solutions for customers to maximise operational capability and efficiency.