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Babcock Awarded French Ministry of Armed Forces Contract to Support Airbus H145-C2 Helicopter Fleet

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Babcock Awarded French Ministry of Armed Forces Contract to Support Airbus H145-C2 Helicopter Fleet

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French Sécurité Civile Airbus H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) twin-engine light utility helicopter
French Sécurité Civile Airbus H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) twin-engine light utility helicopter

Babcock and Airbus Helicopters have been awarded a new contract to support the EC145 helicopter fleet of the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile and the French Gendarmerie Nationale. The 12-year contract, awarded by the French Ministry of Armed Forces Directorate of Aeronautical Maintenance (DMAé), covers the aircraft in service support of a fleet of 48 Airbus EC145 helicopters across France mainland and overseas. The fleet is made up of 33 Sécurité Civile helicopters and 15 Gendarmerie Nationale helicopters, currently in service for rescue operations, air medical transport and law enforcement. The package of work will see Babcock providing aircraft support and maintenance at its facilities in le Cannet-des-Maures.

Babcock will also be responsible for central technical assistance, mission equipment and associated ground support resources and manage the spare parts inventory at our facility in Nîmes Garons. The contract will create around 20 jobs in the Nîmes and Le Cannet-des-Maures regions to meet the customer’s needs. Babcock and Airbus Helicopters will also be assisting with the retirement of the EC145 fleet of the Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale, which will be gradually withdrawn and replaced by Airbus H145 helicopters. Since 2016, Babcock have been supporting the Airbus H135 fleet of the Gendarmerie Nationale and French Customs and over the last year, with partner Airbus Helicopters, the company have been providing support for the four new H145 delivered to the Sécurité Civile.

Gendarmerie Nationale Airbus H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) twin-engine light utility helicopter
Gendarmerie Nationale Airbus H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) twin-engine light utility helicopter. (Photo by Airbus)

Pierre Basquin, Babcock’s Chief Executive Aviation and CEO Babcock France said: “The Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale are key figures in emergency and critical operations management in France. We are proud to be supporting them as they phase out their EC145 fleet. This new contract is a testament to our expertise and know-how on the Airbus H145 and H135 helicopters, and to the trust our customers place in us.”

The Airbus Helicopters H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) is a twin-engine light utility helicopter developed and manufactured by Airbus Helicopters. Originally designated as the BK 117, the H145 is based upon the MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 C1, which became a part of the combined Eurocopter line-up in 1992 with the merger of Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm’s helicopter division of Daimler-Benz into Eurocopter. The helicopter had significant update in the 2020s, an updated version with a 5-blade main rotor and fenestron (ducted tail rotor) entered production. The helicopter is marketed for passenger transport, corporate transport, emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue, parapublic and utility roles. Military variants of the helicopter have also been produced under various designations, such as H145M or UH-72 Lakota, and have been used for training, logistics, medical evacuation, reconnaissance, light attack, and troop-transport operations.

French Sécurité Civile Airbus H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) twin-engine light utility helicopter
French Sécurité Civile Airbus H145 (formerly Eurocopter EC145) twin-engine light utility helicopter. (Photo by Airbus)

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