The new helicopters will be customized to the Botswana Police Service’s specification, including the installation of night vision equipment for night-time operations and other law enforcement equipment. The start of delivery of the new aircraft is scheduled for later in 2015.
The additional helicopters with their enhanced capability will fulfill Botswana’s requirement for an expanded airborne law enforcement and crime prevention force.
Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa General Manager, Arnaud Montalvo said: “We are proud to continue our relationship with the Botswana Police Air Support Unit and that it has selected the AS350 B3e, which has a proven pedigree in police missions – especially in hot and high conditions typical of the much of Botswana. We are confident these aircraft will make an enormous contribution to safeguarding the citizens of Botswana and their property”.
In addition to the helicopters, Airbus Helicopters will also train Botswana Police Air Support Branch pilots and mechanics.
The AS350 B3e is a member of Airbus Helicopters rugged and proven Ecureuil family and was selected for its unmatched performance and efficiency in Botswana’s typically hot and high elevation conditions. Its Turboméca Arriel 2D turbine engine generates greater power, giving the helicopter unmatched maneuverability, performance and payload versatility in comparison with other similar size machines.
Around the world, including Southern Africa, Airbus Helicopters’ products are the top-performing aircraft in their class and a firm favorite with law enforcement agencies. Like Botswana, the police in South Africa, Namibia and Angola have all selected Airbus Helicopters equipment, including numerous AS350 B2, B3 and B3e variants.
Worldwide, to date, Airbus Helicopters has sold more than 5,800 Ecureuil family aircraft (4, 900 are In-service), – including more than 1600 (1152 B3 / 476 B3e) B3 series machines – to some 1,800 operators in 120 countries, including numerous law enforcement and civic agencies.