June 22 (UPI) -- The French National Police is boosting its twin-engine helicopter fleet with the addition of another EC145 aircraft from Airbus Helicopters.
The EC145, with specific mission equipment such as a search light and hoist, will be delivered next year.
The Gendarmerie Nationale currently operates 14 EC145s for law enforcement and public service missions.
"The EC145 is an important asset to the Gendarmerie Nationale" Colonel Emmanuel Sillon, head of the Gendarmerie Nationale Air Forces, said in a press release. "Thanks to the global service solution provided by Airbus Helicopters, our fleet has reached 80 percent availability rate which allows us to ensure our missions 24/7 in the most challenging conditions."
The EC145 has a top speed of 167 miles per hour, a range of 426 miles and a service ceiling of about 17,000 feet.
"We are pleased that the Gendarmerie Nationale has renewed its trust in the EC145 and that our global service solution has been contributing, since the end of 2015, to the performance of the of highly valuable and critical missions performed by our customer's EC145 fleet," said Alexandra Cros, head of sales for France at Airbus Helicopters.