Airbus Helicopters has completed the deliveries of the final two AS565 MBe Panther helicopters to the Mexican Navy.
The Mexican Navy is the first naval force to launch the new version of the Airbus aircraft and the delivery follows an order for a total of ten AS565 MBe Panther helicopters, which was originally placed in 2014.
The first four helicopters were delivered last year, while the remaining six were supplied earlier this year.
AS565 MBe Panther helicopters are capable of conducting an average of 300 flight hours for reconnaissance, patrol missions and training flights.
The aircraft are currently stationed at three naval bases in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Sonora and Michoacan respectively.
Mexican Navy Naval Aviation general director admiral Jose Maria Garcia Macedo said: “The arrival of the MBe Panther has enhanced the Navy Aviation’s operational capabilities.
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“It is a modern, multi-mission helicopter that we can use in both maritime and land environments for a wide range of missions, including maritime search and rescue (SAR), disaster relief, external load operations and even air ambulance.”
AS565 MBe Panther aircraft use a variety of advanced mission equipment such as a cargo hooks, rescue hoists and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) for night-time rescue missions to allow them to conduct a wide range of operations effectively and easily.
They also comprise a total of four stretchers each for medical evacuation purposes.
In addition, the new Panther helicopter features two Safran Arriel 2N engines in order to improve the aircraft’s performance in hot and high conditions, as well as allow it to attain a top speed of 278km/h and a maximum range of 780km.
MBe Panther aircraft are also equipped with a new main gearbox, advanced tail rotor and four-axis autopilot that minimises the crew’s workload and improves performance during demanding missions such as SAR.