|In addition to the two new-build H215s it has on order, the Finnish Border Guard will also retrofit the three AS332 Super Pumas it already operates to the same configuration. (Airbus HC photo)|
Louisville KY March 2, 2016 - Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first of two H215s to join the Finnish Boarder Guard fleet, announced today at the Heli Expo Trade Show, where an H215 can be visited on the static display.
The first H215 arrived in Finland on February 28 following a training session at the Airbus Helicopters headquarters in Marignane, France. The second is set to arrive upon completion of a second training session in April. More than 140 flight hours will be performed during the training.
The Finnish Boarder Guard already operates three AS332 aircraft and has in addition signed a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) HCare contract to retrofit these AS332s to the new H215 multirole configuration. The H215s will be used to perform Border Security and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) duties from the Turku and Helsinki bases. The Air Patrol Squadron of the Finnish Boarder Guard carries out more than 4,000 flight hours annually, 1,400 of which in their Super Pumas.
"Finland is the 8th largest country in the European Union but the most sparsely populated, with large sea areas and forest terrains and, due the northern location, very challenging weather conditions for SAR operations," said colonel Antti Pesari at the Finnish Boarder Guards. "The H215's avionics and autopilot combined with its capability to provide excellent performance in day or night operations are the reason why we are excited to have it join our fleet."
The H215 is a twin-engine, versatile, economic and robust helicopter that combines advanced avionics and a reliable platform for rugged multi-mission capabilities. It offers long range capabilities, power, speed, a large useful payload and very good lifting performance in hot and high environments. Both EASA and FAA certified, the aircraft is equipped with the latest, most modern technologies meeting the latest safety requirements of the market. This includes a glass cockpit and the renowned 4-axis autopilot used on the H225, which provides flight envelope protection, unrivalled precision, and stability in even the harshest operating conditions.
"The H215 a highly performing helicopter that also offers a very innovative and flexible cabin," said Marie-Agnes Vève, Senior Vice President of the Super Puma programme at Airbus Helicopters. "This helicopter represents a new and modern business concept, offering a standardized equipment definition, therefore providing customers with a smart choice when it comes to a specific kind of mission need."
The H215 is tailored for a full range of missions, including: utility airlift with internal and external loads, passenger transportation; law enforcement and search & rescue missions; firefighting and medical evacuation; and peace-keeping and humanitarian deployments.