MARIGNANE, France, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- One of Europe's largest air rescue companies has ordered more than a dozen aircraft from Eurocopter of France for delivery by 2017.
The order from Germany's ADAC Air Rescue, under a framework acquisition agreement, is for 14 EC145 T2 helicopters and three EC135 P2e helicopters.
"ADAC's commitments for new helicopters and their associated SAR equipment represent an investment of over 130 million euros (nearly $138 million) in the future of air rescue operations in Germany," said ADAC Managing Director Stefan Wessling. "Eurocopter is providing an aircraft with unbeatable performance characteristics to replace our BK117 helicopters over the long term."
Eurocopter's EC145 T2, a successor to the EC145, is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E dual-channel engines with full authority digital engine controls. It also features the Eurocopter-developed Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, a four-axis autopilot and a new avionics suite.
The EC135 P2e is an improved version of the EC135 twin-engine helicopter, with an increased maximum takeoff weight.
"We are very pleased that ADAC Air Rescue has once again chosen Eurocopter, marking a continuation of the more than 40 years in our close and successful cooperation," said Wolfgang Schoder, Eurocopter executive vice president of programs.
"With the EC145 T2, ADAC Air Rescue will be operating the newest aircraft in the light twin-engine helicopter category. The EC145 T2 was developed in close consultation with air rescue organizations with the specific aim of further satisfying operators' exacting safety and performance requirements."
Eurocopter said all the helicopters will be fitted with medical equipment and required communication systems needed for rescue operations.
ADAC Air Rescue operates its current fleet of 40 helicopters from 35 bases across Germany.