BAN's World GazetteerItaly
Bulgarian border police will strengthen border patrols with the deployment of two AW109 Power light twins which will join an existing AW109 Power and an AW139. "The main mission of the helicopters, which are procured under the Schengen Facility programme funds, is to provide a reliable air surveillance capability on the outer EU borders," the police says. Bulgaria is scheduled to become a member of the Schengen Zone, which is designed to help simplify and control access to the EU from March 2011. "These AW109 Powers will be equipped with an impressive range of state-of-the-art avionics and mission-dedicated equipment," Bulgarian police say. "They will also benefit from NVG-compatible cockpit, moving map, weather radar, FLIR, digital video downlink and video recorder, mission console, searchlight, emergency floats, rescue hoist and external loudspeaker." Sales points included an ability to change the interior configuration providing "exceptional versatility" to support different law enforce- ment roles.