Japan acquires four new helicopters from Eurocopter
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 rotarywing 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.