Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter
Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter

Bulgarian Navy Accepts Attrition-Replacement AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter

The Bulgarian Navy (Voennomorski sili na Republika Balgariya) accepted into service one Airbus Helicopters AS365N3+ Dauphin multipurpose rotorcraft on 6 December. A ceremony to welcome the new arrival took place at the Chayka naval helicopter base on the Black Sea coast. Procured second-hand, the Dauphin (serial number 905) will replace an Airbus Helicopters AS565MB Panther that crashed into the Black Sea on 9 June 2017. Prior to its delivery to the Bulgarian Navy, the Dauphin was overhauled by Airbus Helicopters Romania in Brasov.

Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter
Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter

In 2011, three Panthers was handed over to the Bulgarian Navy at naval helicopter base Chayka (near Varna). The Panthers replaced the ageing Mil Mi-14s. Unfortunately one Panther (902) ditched in the Black Sea on 9 June 2017, following a collision with the VMS Wielingen-class frigate, Drazki 41 (former Belgian Navy frigate Wandelaar F912). Of the three crew members, the helicopter’s commander did not survive the accident, while the other two people on board sustained light injuries. With the write-off of this Panther, the Bulgarian Navy only had two helicopters left.
Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter
Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter

The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS365 Dauphin (Dolphin), also formerly known as the Aérospatiale SA 365 Dauphin 2, is a medium-weight multipurpose twin-engine helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters. It was originally developed and manufactured by French firm Aérospatiale, which was merged into the multinational Eurocopter company during the 1990s. Since entering production in 1975, the type has been in continuous production for more than 40 years. The intended successor to the Dauphin is the Airbus Helicopters H160, which is yet to enter operational service as of March 2015.
Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter
Bulgarian Navy AS365N3+ Dauphin Helicopter
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