Meanwhile, in the U.S. the American subsidiary of Eurocopter picked up some more business. In response to emergency funding initiatives under the Homeland Defense Act with respect to border security, the U.S. Border Patrol has signed a contract with Grand Prairie, Texas-based American Eurocopter for the “immediate” delivery of 13 AS 350B3 helicopters. (Just how those “immediate” deliveries will dovetail with other orders already in the pipeline remains to be seen.)
The Border Patrol has been operating AS 350 AStars in the patrol and surveillance mission for 16 years. The new AS 350B3 will be fitted with a searchlight, full NVG cockpit, the newly designed law-enforcement half instrument panel and digital navigation displays. The AStars will also be outfitted with cabling to receive and operate a wide variety of sensors.