Eurocopter Japan recently signed contracts with Japan’s National Police Agency for a total of four helicopters. Comprising two medium-class and two twin-engine light helicopters, the new acquisitions will be deployed to Hyogo Prefectural Police (EC155 B1), Hiroshima Prefectural Police (AS365 N3+), Osaka Prefectural Police (EC135 P2e) and Fukuoka Prefectural Police (EC135 P2e), as replacements for ageing aircraft in the respective fleets.
The brand new EC155 B1 from Eurocopter’s Dauphin family will be the National Police Agency’s (NPA) first acquisition of this helicopter type. Incidentally, it is also the first Eurocopter rotary-wing aircraft to be operated by Hyogo Prefectural Police, with delivery planned for 2015. Hiroshima Prefectural Police’s AS365 N3+ will also be delivered in 2015; while Osaka and Fukuoka will receive their EC135 P2e in 2014.
The ability to meet varying customer needs with a wide range of products, coupled with the availability of a total-support system in the country, have enabled Eurocopter Japan to increase its market share in the law enforcement sector over the years. NPA is currently operating a fleet of 29 Eurocopter light-twin and medium-class helicopters across the country, used for police activities including crime-prevention, investigative search and security patrols, as well as other public service missions such as life-saving operations and transportation.
“We are very honored to have signed the contract with NPA, which shows the trust they have in our products and appreciation of our total-support service commitment,” said Stephane Ginoux, President & CEO of Eurocopter Japan. “We can never emphasize enough on our will to offer the best and most comprehensive support and services for our customers not only in the area of maintenance, but also training, which is a crucial element in ensuring flight safety.”
Both the EC155 B1 and AS365 N3+ come from Eurocopter’s Dauphin family, with the EC155 B1 being the high-end, enhanced version equipped with the latest technologies. Versatile for multi-mission use and well-known for its low vibration and quietness thanks to Eurocopter’s famous Fenestron tail rotor, the EC155 B1 has a spacious cabin that can accommodate up to 15 persons (2 pilots + 13 passengers) comfortably. Dauphins are particularly well-received in police, fire-fighting, disaster management and news gathering activities. There are currently 57 Dauphin helicopters operating in Japan.
The EC135 is a light twin-engine helicopter equipped with state-of-art technology, including Eurocopter’s Fenestron tail rotor. Not only does it have a low noise level compared with helicopters in the same class, it is also able to perform many different types of missions with good fuel efficiency. Used widely for law enforcement and emergency medical services worldwide, it is also a popular machine in Japan, with 75 EC135s currently being operated in various types of missions.
Established in 2009, Eurocopter Japan is the Japanese subsidiary of Eurocopter, a division of EADS. It is the first foreign affiliated aircraft manufacturer to carry out direct sales, training, and customer support activities in the Japanese aeronautical sector. There are about 280 employees allocated at four bases, including Tokyo and Kobe. With more than 50 years of in-country presence, Eurocopter Japan confirms its leadership position with a 54 percent market share overall in Japan (for the turbine helicopter market, not including defense). Eurocopter Japan makes Japan’s sky safer, more reliable and cost-efficient by providing high quality products and services.