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Business Air News Bulletin
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French government awards fleet support contract to Babcock and Airbus
France’s Ministry of the Interior has tasked Babcock and Airbus with supporting 48 EC145s across France and its overseas territories, and with fleet renewal by H145s. Deliveries start this year.
The contract covers the 33 EC145s operated by the Sécurité Civile and the 15 EC145s operated by the Gendarmerie air forces.
Read this story in our June 2024 printed issue.

The French Ministry of Armed Forces Directorate of Aeronautical Maintenance (DMAé), the organisation in charge of maintenance for aircraft operated by the French government, has signed a 12-year contract with Babcock and Airbus Helicopters for the support of 48 Airbus EC145s operated across 41 bases in France, including five bases in French overseas territories. The fleet is made up of 33 Sécurité Civile helicopters and 15 Gendarmerie Nationale helicopters, currently in service for rescue operations, air medical transport and law enforcement.

The contract covers technical support, including industry technical representatives working on site, supply of spare parts, logistics solutions in the form of the transport of spares and stock management, technical data management and software support.

Babcock will provide aircraft support and maintenance at its facilities in Le Cannet-des-Maures. The operator will also be responsible for central technical assistance, mission equipment and associated ground support resources, and will manage the spare parts inventory at its facility in Nîmes Garons. The contract will create around 20 jobs in the Nîmes and Le Cannet-des-Maures regions.

Babcock and Airbus Helicopters will also be assisting with the retirement of the EC145 fleet of the Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale, which will gradually be withdrawn and replaced by Airbus H145s.

Babcock has supported the Airbus H135 fleet of the Gendarmerie Nationale and French Customs since 2016 and, over the last year, with its partner Airbus Helicopters, it has been providing support for the four new H145 delivered to the Sécurité Civile.

Pierre Basquin, Babcock chief executive aviation and CEO Babcock France, says: “The Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale are key figures in emergency and critical operations management in France. We are proud to be supporting them as they phase out their EC145 fleet. This new contract is a testament to our expertise and know-how on the Airbus H145 and H135 helicopters, and to the trust our customers place in us.”

Airbus is also committed to the renewal of the fleets. Sécurité Civile already operates four new H145s ordered in 2021, which are also supported by Airbus Helicopters and Babcock. In late 2023, a contract was signed for 42 H145s for the French Ministry of Interior, 36 for the Sécurité Civile and six for the Gendarmerie. Aircraft deliveries will start this year.

“The Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale play a key role in safeguarding our communities in France. We are proud to have signed this contract, which demonstrates their confidence in us and strengthens our partnership,” adds Romain Trapp, Airbus Helicopters executive vice president, customer support and services. “We measure our responsibility in guaranteeing that their EC145s are available 24/7 for their critical missions.”

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