Airbus, Babcock Sign Maintenance Contract for French EC145 Helicopters

Airbus and Babcock have secured a contract to sustain 48 EC145 twin-engine light utility helicopters for the French government.

The deal encompasses technical support, spare parts supply, logistics services, software support, technical data management, and other management and transfer of associated components.

The consortium will conduct maintenance for 33 EC145s under France’s Civil Defense agency and 15 EC145s operated by the Gendarmerie Air Forces.

Airbus wrote that the fleet is stationed at 41 in-country bases and five overseas territories. It is responsible for law enforcement, rescue operations, and aeromedical missions.

The length of the project will extend for 12 years.

“The Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale play a key role in safeguarding our communities in France,” Airbus Helicopters Customer Support and Services Vice President Romain Trapp remarked.

“We measure our responsibility in guaranteeing that their EC145s are available 24/7 for their critical missions.”

Supporting Local Jobs

Babcock noted that it will perform the work at facilities in le Cannet-des-Maures and Nîmes Garons.

Both regions are expected to generate around 20 new jobs throughout completion of the contract, the company added.

Civil Defense
French Civil Defense EC145 light utility helicopter. Photo: Airbus

“The Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale are key figures in emergency and critical operations management in France,” Babcock France CEO Pierre Basquin stated.

“This new contract is a testament to our expertise and know-how on the Airbus H145 … and to the trust our customers place in us.”

The EC145

The EC145 was first introduced in the early 2000s. It is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel engines that allow the aircraft to fly at an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,500 meters) and up to 133 knots (150 miles/250 kilometers per hour).

The rotorcraft has a wingspan of 36 feet (11 meters) and an overall airframe length of 43 feet (13 meters).

It has a fuel capacity of 1,530 pounds (690 kilograms) and a maximum payload of 2,942 pounds (1,300 kilograms).

Depending on its iteration, the EC145 can carry up to 12 personnel and capabilities such as electronic countermeasure systems, cargo hooks, cannon pods, laser-guided rockets, machine guns, and air-to-ground missiles.

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