The Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) has taken delivery of two EC135 multi-role helicopters from Airbus Helicopters at its facility in Spain.
Representing the first two EC135s delivered as part of the contract awarded by the Spanish armament procurement agency in December 2013, the helicopters are expected to fulfil the army’s pressing requirement to provide its combat pilots with advanced training in tactical missions.
The contract covers delivery of a total of eight EC135 helicopters, and a logistics package that will support fleet sustainability in future.
FAMET commander-in-chief said: ”The EC135 is one of the finest systems we have ever operated in the army thanks to its excellent operability and first-class capabilities.”
Airbus Helicopters Espana CEO, Francisco Verge, said: ”The EC135 meets the requirements of the Spanish Armed Forces in full, and this contract is another show of confidence in us on the part of the Spanish Ministry of Defence.”
The newly delivered helicopters bring the Spanish Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) total EC135 fleet to 16.
Powered by two Turboméca Arrius 2B2 or two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B turboshaft engines, the EC135 is a lightweight helicopter designed for emergency medical services (EMS), homeland security and military light utility and training missions.
The helicopter is equipped with several safety features, such as the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor and the full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system, ensuring the highest levels of safety on both ground and in the air.
Spain has a fleet of over 60 EC135s, which prepares pilots to perform manoeuvres and combat missions in the Cougar, Tiger and the NH90 helicopters using night vision goggles (NVG) and instrument flights.
Scheduled to be delivered throughout 2014, the remaining six helicopters will also be allocated to the CEFAMET Helicopter School Battalion, the Spanish Army Airmobile Force training centre.
Image: The Spanish Army and Airbus Helicopters officials during EC135 hand over ceremony in Spain. Photo: copyright of Airbus Helicopters.