London’s metropolitan police force has ordered three new Eurocopter EC 145s to supplement, and one day replace, a pair of AS 355 Twin Stars. The helicopters are already in the UK, about to be role-equipped and completed by UK Eurocopter distributor McAlpine Helicopters.
McAlpine sales director David Lewis told HAI Convention News that the plan was to introduce all three new aircraft into service before retiring the Twin Stars. “The Met is the first UK police force to operate the EC 145, and it will take some time to integrate the new fleet,” he said. However, when they enter service at the end of this year, they will have the very latest role equipment and be extremely effective force multipliers.”
As well as the police helicopter’s traditional role of surveillance and tracking, the EC 145’s larger cabin will allow it to undertake additional tasks such as fast-roping, abseiling and casualty evacuation–new jobs envisioned as a result of a review of tactics in the wake of last July’s London bombings.