Four Eurocopter EC145s for the Peruvian National Police
|Monday 25 November 2013||Text by Carlos Ay under Defence & security|
In a ceremony held on 4 November 2013 at Lima international airport, the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior took delivery of the first of four Eurocopter EC145 twin-turbine helicopters purchased in late 2012 to update rotary wing resources at that South American national police (Policía Nacional del Perú, or PNP). Since the acquisition was arranged through government-to-government channels, Peru’s Minister of the Interior, Wilfredo Pedraza Sierra (separated from government a few days later), and France’s minister of defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, presided over the event.
“This country regards the modernization of our police aviation capabilities as a priority, and I am proud to be able to equip our police with a helicopter that has proved its effectiveness with police forces around the world,” said Pedraza. Le Drian, in turn, highlighted that the “ceremony serves to illustrate and reinforce the existing collaboration between the French Gendarmerie and the Peruvian National Police”. And celebrating to see those “relations extending to the field of aviation”, he backed the European manufacturer by stating that “Eurocopter is at the technological forefront”.
Eurocopter expanding in Peru
Le Drian’s backing bred Eurocopter’s growth expectations in this Andean nation. Eurocopter’s Peruvian fleet has tripled in recent years; the vast majority (around 40 aircraft) are light single-engine helicopters from the Ecureuil range that are used for various types of aerial work. With the entry into service of the PNP’s EC145 medium-lift twin-engine helicopters, the delivery of two Super Puma heavy-lift helicopters for the energy industry and increasing military interest in new-generation Cougar multirole helicopters, the Eurocopter fleet continues to expand and diversify within the country.
“Peru has embarked on an ambitious project to modernize its helicopter fleet across the civil, parapublic and military sectors,” said Dominique Maudet, Eurocopter executive vice president, Global Business and Services. “Eurocopter is aiming to become a strategic partner for Peru, helping along growth of the country’s fleet by establishing new production, coproduction, maintenance and training facilities”, added Mesrob Karalekian, vice president, Eurocopter Latin America.
These rotorcraft, the first in this BK-117 evolutionary variant to reach Peruvian soil, will operate from the Police Aviation Directorate at Lima/El Callao (SPIM) to perform both public security and disaster relief missions. In addition to incorporating advanced flight control, communications and night-flying systems, the Peruvian EC145s will also be fitted with loudspeakers, foghorn, rescue hoist, searchlight and infrared night vision goggles, with two of them enabled with video recording capabilities. One of those last two, in turn, will be fitted with a real-time data-link connecting it to a police central, which the former interior minister said would allow it to “broadcast live imagery”.
The three remaining choppers, which in September were undergoing pre-delivery flight tests at Donauwörth (Alemania), are scheduled to be delivered every 15 days and before 20 December 2013. According to European sources, the purchase contract (signed by Eurocopter’s Chilean subsidiary) is valued at about US $ 37.000.000 and their identities should be PNP-127 (c/n 9616, ex D-HADB), PNP-128 (c/n 9621, ex D-HMBE), PNP-129 (c/n 9623, ex D-HADF) and PNP-130 (c/n 9612, ex D-HADP).
Internet sources: Andina, Embajada de Francia en Perú (official), Eurocopter (official), Helihub, Infodefensa, Presidencia del Perú (official), Scramble and Wikipedia. Acnowledgements: Bryan Luna contributed photographs for this report.