MARIGNANE, France, May 12 (UPI) -- Airbus Helicopters is upgrading the avionics suite aboard EC145 helicopters used for search-and-rescue and medical evacuations missions in France.
The contract for the upgrade to 35 helicopters of the Interior Ministry's Sécurité Civile agency was issued by the French military procurement agency DGA.
"We are very proud of the trust that the Sécurité Civile has placed in our support and services with this second contract in less than a year," said Matthieu Louvot, Airbus Helicopters executive vice president of Customer Support and Services. "It is a great honor for us to be confirmed as the industrial partner of choice by this reference EC145 operator to which we are also providing a comprehensive, nose-to-tail global service solution."
Airbus Helicopters was contracted last year for service support for Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale's EC145 fleet.
Under the new seven-year award, the company will conduct mechanical and electrical modifications to integrate functions such as LPV/SBAS guidance, digital maps, and GPS installations.
"This retrofit program ensures that our EC145s will remain capable of meeting the most demanding operational requirements with the highest levels of safety", said Victor Devouge, head of aviation means for the Sécurité Civile. "This fleet is now enjoying an availability rate of around 95 percent, which is absolutely essential in allowing us to perform our daily operations."