Lithuania uses Airbus helicopters for 24/7 SAR missions

Lithuania's military has inaugurated around-the-clock search-and-rescue missions using Airbus helicopters.
By Richard Tomkins   |   Jan. 15, 2016 at 12:21 PM

MARIGNANE, France, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Lithuania's Ministry of Defense on Friday marked the entry into service of three Airbus AS365 N3 helicopters for around-the-clock search-and-rescue operations.

The transport and utility helicopters have a maximum speed of 190 miles per hour, a range of 514 miles and an altitude ceiling of more than 19,000 feet.

They are equipped for Lithuania with forward looking infrared, radar, search lights, hailer, hoist, stretchers, and a four-axis autopilot with SAR modes significantly.

Lithuania has ordered three of the aircraft, the third of which was delivered last month.

"The acquisition of the AS365 N3+ contributes to the modernization of our fleet," Lithuanian Air Force Commander Col. Audronis Navickas said. "We have already flown the aircraft for more than 200 hours in pilot training operations, including specific SAR missions, and we are sure that the up-to-date capabilities of this helicopter will allow us to perform all the different types of search-and-rescue missions that we must be able to execute."

The new helicopters began 24/7 SAR service in Lithuania earlier this week.

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