DONAUWORTH, Germany, July 15 (UPI) -- The German Ministry of Defense has signed a contract worth more than $253 million to supply its Special Forces Command with light utility helicopters.
The $253.4 million deal with Eurocopter is for 15 EC645 T2 aircraft, together with related equipment packages. Delivery of the helicopters will begin in 2015, with completion two years later.
"By selecting the EC645 T2, the Bundeswehr is setting an international benchmark," said Wolfgang Schoder, chief executive officer of Eurocopter Germany. "They are putting their faith in proven technologies from missions around the world.
"Among others, the U.S. Army successfully operates a fleet of more than 270 EC145s, the aircraft on which the EC645 T2 is based. This helicopter is an economical, low-risk and quickly available solution to carry out missions for special forces that has already won out several times against international competition."
The EC645 T2 features a digital cockpit with full night vision and a 4-axis autopilot; tactical radios for NATO interoperability; side and rear doors and a Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, which enhances landing operations in confined spaces.