Ecuadorian Army reaffirms the delivery of two new AS350 B2 helicopters

The Ecuado­ri­an Army reaf­firms its com­mit­ment to Euro­copter with the deliv­ery of two new AS350 B2 heli­copters
Euro­copter has deliv­ered the first two Ecureuil AS350 B2 of nine heli­copters con­tract­ed by the Ecuado­ri­an Armed Forces in July 2010 under its exten­sive mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram.

Marig­nane — The two Ecureuil AS350 B2s were deliv­ered to the Army Avi­a­tion Brigade at La Balv­ina, San­golquí in the pres­ence of the Ecuado­ri­an Defense Min­is­ter Javier Ponce, the Head of Armed Forces Joint Com­mand Ernesto González, Army Com­man­der Patri­cio Cár­de­nas and var­i­ous oth­er Ecuado­ri­an mil­i­tary offi­cials and Euro­copter rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“The renew­al of our heli­copter fleet is a key fea­ture of the Army’s mod­ern­iza­tion process,” declared Javier Ponce. “This pur­chase will equip the Armed Forces with a new gen­er­a­tion of heli­copters with low­er main­te­nance costs.”

Mean­while, Eurocopter’s Vicepres­i­dent for Latin Amer­i­ca, took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to thank the Ecuado­ri­an Army “for trust­ing in Eurocopter’s range of prod­ucts over the last 40 years. We are delight­ed to assist the Armed Forces with their renew­al pro­gram and wish them every suc­cess in their oper­a­tions with our heli­copters.” The Ecuado­ri­an Armed Forces were one of the first armies in Latin Amer­i­ca to inte­grate Euro­copter air­craft into their fleet and they now have near­ly 30 Euro­copter heli­copters, includ­ing 2 Ecureuil AS350Bs, 2 A315B Lamas, 2 SA316 Alou­ettes, 19 SA342 Gazelles and 4 AS332 Super Pumas. The long oper­a­tional life of this fleet, which includes heli­copters with forty years of ser­vice, bears tes­ti­mo­ny to the reli­a­bil­i­ty and dura­bil­i­ty of the Euro­copter range.

The new Ecureuils will replace the Lamas and will be used for army pilot train­ing activ­i­ties in Guayaquil as well as recon­nais­sance, SAR and fire­fight­ing, among oth­er oper­a­tions. The AS350 B2 is a light sin­gle-engine heli­copter with an endurance of 3 hours at 140 knots and a capac­i­ty of 4 pas­sen­gers and 2 crew mem­bers. Pow­ered by a Tur­bome­ca Arriel 1D1 engine, the Ecuado­ri­an Army’s new Ecureuils are also equipped for night flight and include res­cue hoists.

In addi­tion to the recent arrival of the two AS350 B2s, the con­tract also includes sev­en Fen­nec AS550 C3s, which will in turn pro­gres­sive­ly replace the Gazelles, to be deliv­ered by 2015. Mod­ern, ver­sa­tile and high­ly maneu­ver­able, the Fen­nec AS550 C3 is per­fect­ly adapt­ed to the oper­a­tional require­ments in Ecuador, a coun­try that com­bines high alti­tudes and extreme tem­per­a­tures.

Since its first flight in 1974, the Ecureuil fam­i­ly has achieved sales of more than 5,000 air­craft all over the world and 22 mil­lion flight hours

About Euro­copter
Estab­lished in 1992, the Fran­co-Ger­man-Span­ish Euro­copter Group is a divi­sion of EADS, a world leader in aero­space, defense and relat­ed ser­vices. The Euro­copter Group employs approx­i­mate­ly 17,500 peo­ple. In 2010, Euro­copter con­firmed its posi­tion as the world’s num­ber one heli­copter man­u­fac­tur­er in the civ­il and para­pub­lic mar­ket with a turnover of 4.8 bil­lion Euros,orders for 346 new heli­copters and a 49 per­cent mar­ket share in the civ­il and para­pub­lic sec­tors. Over­all, the Group’s heli­copters account for 33 per­cent of the total world­wide civ­il and para­pub­lic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong world­wide pres­ence is ensured by its 30 sub­sidiaries and par­tic­i­pa­tions on five con­ti­nents, along with a dense net­work of dis­trib­u­tors, cer­ti­fied agents and main­te­nance cen­ters. There are cur­rent­ly 11,200 Euro­copter heli­copters in ser­vice and some 2,900customers in 147 coun­tries. Euro­copter offers the largest civ­il and mil­i­tary heli­copter range in the world.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:
Stéphane CHERY
Head of Inter­na­tion­al Media Rela­tions
Euro­copter
Tel.: +33 4 42 85 60 51
Fax: +33 4 42 85 89 70

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter