Eurocopter’s EC 145, the workhorse twin turbine that evolved from the BK 117 several years ago, is going to experience an increase in production, from 19 a year last year to 25 a year this year, according to the manufacturer.
Eurocopter (Booth No. 1741) received orders last year for 20 EC 145s, primarily for emergency medical service (EMS) in North America and Europe. Seventy-five EC 145s are already in service and the company currently has a 20-ship backlog.
In the EMS market, the EC 145 is primarily used for air ambulance missions, inter-hospital transport and as an aerial intensive care unit for emergency air evacuation. In the law enforcement segment, it has found a variety of uses as its role has expanded and governments are attempting to cope with the growing threat of terrorism. The London Metropolitan Police Authority and the Lithuanian Border Guard are the latest agencies to order the EC 145.
Now, in conjunction with American Eurocopter and lead contractor EADS North America, the versatile helicopter is being offered to the U.S. Army to fill a light utility helicopter requirement. Sikorsky Aircraft, WestWind and simulator specialist CAE are team partners for the ship, which would be designated the UH-145 in its military guise.