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Dauphin fleet set to patrol Spanish waters
The Spanish ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food is acquiring more AS365 Dauphin N3s as it builds a larger higher performance fleet in place of three Agusta 109Cs. Jose Navarro, deputy general of inspection at Spain's marine fishery directorate, says: "They will be used to inspect, monitor and control the fishing fleet. In this role, they will be flown day and night to supervise activities in Spain's coastal waters and fishing zones. They will also provide support for the fishing boats by performing, for example, search and rescue missions."

The Spanish ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food is acquiring more AS365 Dauphin N3s as it builds a larger higher performance fleet in place of three Agusta 109Cs.

Jose Navarro, deputy general of inspection at Spain's marine fishery directorate, says: "They will be used to inspect, monitor and control the fishing fleet. In this role, they will be flown day and night to supervise activities in Spain's coastal waters and fishing zones. They will also provide support for the fishing boats by performing, for example, search and rescue missions."

He says the Dauphins will be "tremendous time savers" for the directorate. "Up until recently, the capacities of helicopter operations were limited due to the payload and space restrictions of the older aircraft. The Dauphin is both larger and faster than its predecessors, and also provides better performance. It is equipped with more modern equipment based on new technology."

Navarro adds: "The Dauphins each have a console that continuously centralises in a single database all the cartography data, radar transmissions, images from the FLIR and photos taken on location."

The console also includes data sheets for the fishing boats relating to licenses and permits. "With these new features, we can perform our patrol work more quickly and in modern, comfortable conditions."

Helisureste will operate two of the Dauphins with maintenance handled by Hispacopter.

Eurocopter's contract for the first two N3s included the buyback of one A109C. That arrangement has been completed and in December 2006 another contract was signed for two N3s plus the buyback of another A109C.

A Eurocopter spokesman says: "We will deliver those two Dauphins in January and April 2008 and we will receive the A109C."

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