Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first three AS565 MBe Panther helicopters to industrial partner PT Dirgantara Indonesia during a ceremony held at its headquarters in Marignane, France.

The delivery is part of an agreement under which Airbus will supply 11 AS565 MBe helicopters to its Indonesian industrial partner, which as the design authority will carry out reassembling and outfitting of the rotorcraft in-country.

The outfitting is expected to cover the installation of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) suite, such as dipping sonar and torpedo launch systems. The ASW suite will enable the Indonesian Navy to carry out demanding missions.

"We look forward to receiving these green helicopters in Bandung."

PT Dirgantara Indonesia CEO and president said: “We have been working with Airbus Helicopters on numerous projects for many years by now, and this milestone today further illustrates the commitment both companies have towards this programme.

“We look forward to receiving these green helicopters in Bandung, as we ready to start the installation of the mission equipment, and the subsequent qualification and certification of our future anti-submarine warfare helicopters.”

The AS565 MBe helicopter is the naval version of Airbus’ Panther family and has been designed as an all-weather, multi-role medium rotorcraft, capable of deploying for operations from ship decks, offshore locations and land-based sites.

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Equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines, the AS565 MBe helicopter can operate in high and hot conditions at a maximum speed of 165k and a range of 780km.

The helicopters are fitted with a new main gearbox, the latest-generation tail rotor and a four-axis autopilot that minimises crew workload and facilitates better mission performance.

Image: The AS565 MBe Panther helicopter. Photo: © Airbus Helicopters, Eric Raz.