Airbus secures INPS contract

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One of the INPS' two helicopters. Credit: Garda Air Support Unit

Airbus has secured a contact worth €2 million with Ireland’s National Police Service (INPS) to supply support for its two H135 helicopters.

The service will supply by the hour support to the Garda Air Support Unit (GASU), which carries out operational air support for the INPS. The contract stipulates that the maximum utilisation of the INPS EC135T2+ and EC135T2 per year is 1,000 hours and 800 hours, respectively.

“The primary mission of the Garda Air Support Unit is to provide a patrol and response capability in the assistance of operational ground units of An Garda Síochána [INPS],” said the contract notice. “This is generally achieved through visual contact flights.”

The INPS took delivery of its EC135T2 in 2001, and then replaced its already existing AS355N Ecureuil with the EC135T2+ in 2007.

“GASU helicopters are required to operate by day and by night (subject to visual weather minima), with the broad objective being to seek out and identify the target, establish and maintain visual contact with the target while directing ground units to the scene or to intercept,” added the notice.

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