Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first of two H215 helicopters to join the Finnish Border Guard fleet.
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 trainings.
The Finnish Border 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 Border 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. The H215’s avionics and autopilot combined with its capability to provide excellent performance in day or night operations are the reasons why we are excited to have it join our fleet,” said Colonel Antti Pesari at the Finnish Border Guards.
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 lifting performance in hot and high environments. Certified by both EASA and FAA, the aircraft is equipped with the latest safety technologies. 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 the harshest operating conditions.
“The H215 a highly performing helicopter and offers a very innovative and flexible cabin. 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,” said Marie-Agnes Vève, Senior Vice President of the Super Puma program at Airbus Helicopters.
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; fire fighting and medical evacuation; and peace-keeping and humanitarian deployments.
Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus Group, provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions worldwide. Its in-service fleet includes nearly 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 154 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 22,000 people worldwide and in 2015 generated revenues of 6.8 billion Euros.