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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
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Last Dauphin delivered to Spanish Customs
In 2021 Dauphins contributed to the seizure of more than 200 tons of illegal drugs in Spain. The Customs Service has now taken delivery of its third, the last ever, to reinforce coastal chase and intercept missions.
Spanish Customs' Dauphin will be used to combat drug trafficking.

Spanish Customs Surveillance Service has taken delivery of the last Airbus Dauphin helicopter, an AS365 N3, to reinforce its capacity to combat drug trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea and in Galicia.

The helicopter was customised at Airbus Helicopters' facilities in Albacete and comes equipped with mission equipment such as an electro-optical system, a radar, a tactical communications system and a search light, since most of the patrol flights take place at night. Thanks to its long-range fuel tanks, the Spanish Customs' Dauphin can fly up to three hours and 30 minutes and reach a fast cruise speed of 145 kts, an essential asset when it comes to reaching the vessels of drug traffickers.

The Spanish Customs' three Dauphins perform maritime patrol missions to track, chase and intercept high-speed smuggling boats typically transporting contraband. In 2021, the Dauphin helicopters contributed to the seizure of more than 200 tons of illegal drugs in Spain, working with the Custom Surveillance Service's 45 vessels and land units.

“The Spanish Customs has been a partner since 1985, and we are very proud of how, since the first Dauphin was handed over to it in 2002, these helicopters have carried out essential tasks for the population such as the fight against drug trafficking in a hostile environment,” says Airbus Helicopters managing director in Spain Fernando Lombo. "Thank you to the women and men at Customs who are taking full advantage of the Dauphin's marine patrol capabilities, flying the outstanding amount of almost 1,000 hours a year with each Dauphin to protect our community."

This is the last helicopter of the Dauphin family that has been manufactured in Marignane by Airbus Helicopters. Over the past 40 years, more than 1,100 helicopters have been produced, flying seven million hours in 70 different countries. Among its numerous milestones the achievement of the world speed record in November 1991 stands out, when the Dauphin reached 201 knots on a three kilometre route.

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