Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first of
seven upgraded National Police Air Service (NPAS) H135
helicopters, under a £1.5 million contract signed in December 2017
to equip and standardise the UK police helicopter fleetís Night
Vision (NVIS) capability.
Under the new configuration, all seven
NPASí H135 helicopters will be capable of NVIS operations down to
ground level, enhancing their night time surveillance capabilities
at all heights and in all environments.
The first upgraded
aircraft, G-POLF, was first delivered to UK police in 2002 and,
with more than 15,000 flight hours, is a global H135 fleet leader.
The standardised upgrade, common to all seven helicopters, will
deliver the latest NVIS capability and bring these aircraft in
line with NPASí current NVIS-capable H135 fleet, allowing NPAS to
benefit from commonality across the entire fleet.
Dismore, NPAS T/Accountable Manager, said, ďAirbus Helicoptersí UK
design team is recognised as a European leader in the design and
integration of night vision capabilities across the companyís
range of helicopters, while the companyís 30 year heritage
supporting the development of UK police aviation and their
collaborative approach has meant the impact on fleet availability
and operations has been minimised.Ē
The upgrade includes stripping and re-equipping
the majority of cockpit instrumentation across all seven
helicopters, including flight and mission equipment and new
FENN700+ night vision goggles, to precisely the same standard.