Eurocopter, February 04, 2010 - Albacete, Eurocopter and the Spanish Ministry of the Interior have signed a contract for the purchase of twelve EC135 P2i helicopters. Spain's National Police Force will operate six of the new aircraft for law enforcement missions, while the remaining six will join the current fleet of the Spanish Guardia Civil. One of this latter group of helicopters will be configured for mountain rescue missions.
The agreement calls for an initial delivery of four helicopters in 2010. Four more helicopters are to follow next year, and the remaining aircraft will be delivered in 2012. The 12 helicopters acquired under this new contract will join the 14 EC135s already operated by the National Police Force and the Guardia Civil (seven each). Two additional contracts are in the works and will subsequently bring the total number of EC135s up to 51, thus completing the ambitious helicopter modernization program of Spain's law enforcement agencies.
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling declared on this occasion: “We are particularly pleased to sign this landmark agreement with the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, as it illustrates yet again Eurocopter's position as the leading helicopter manufacturer for public service missions. It is also gratifying for us to reach a new agreement with Spain, the third domestic country of the Eurocopter group.”
“This contract with the Ministry of the Interior proves once again that we made the right decision to set up new industrial activities in Albacete," added Juan Carlos Martínez Sáiz, CEO of Eurocopter in Spain. "Spain now ranks among the top tier countries manufacturing helicopters, and I would like to thank the Spanish government for their renewed vote of confidence in the EC135. This helicopter is a remarkable worldwide success story, and I am convinced that Spain will be fully satisfied with this new aircraft.”
All 12 helicopters covered by the contract will roll off Albacete's EC135 assembly line, which is one of two lines that Eurocopter operates for the light twin-engine helicopter, along with the assembly line in Donauwörth, Germany. 11 of the 12 helicopters will be equipped for IFR flights.
The twin-engine EC135 is a highly sophisticated, multi-purpose helicopter featuring cutting-edge technology that makes it the perfect choice for public safety missions. It has been the preferred choice of parapublic operators worldwide for more than a decade. To date, Eurocopter has delivered more than 850 EC135s to customers in 40 different countries. Approximately 50 EC135s are currently operated by different customers in Spain.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.