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CHC Group has announced it has signed a 30-month contract continuation with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to provide search-and-rescue (SAR) services at five bases around Australia.
As part of the continuation, six new-generation AW139 aircraft will replace the current S-76 SAR helicopter fleet flying for the RAAF.
The first of these aircraft have already been introduced at the base in East Sale and a further five will be rolled out throughout 2018.
The AW139 aircraft will be SAR-configured with four-axis auto hover, allowing them to hover over water at night. CHC is the most experienced operator of auto hover technology in Australia.
The crews will also use white phosphorus night vision technology, introduced into Australia by CHC, which is designed to offer greater range and vision clarity than any other existing technology.
CHC Helicopter operates and provides its services to all three services; the Royal Australian Air Force, Australian Navy and the Australian Army.
The new AW139 aircraft will be in addition to the current AW139 night vision goggle-capable, four-axis auto hover machine currently servicing the Australian Navy since May 2017.
“We’re delighted and honored to have signed this continuation with the Royal Australian Air Force,” said Vincent D’Rozario, CHC’s regional director for Asia Pacific. “CHC Helicopter has worked closely with the RAAF for almost 30 years, it is a pleasure to continue that relationship with the provision of a more capable, new-generation aircraft.
“Fitted with four-access auto hover capabilities and CHC’s award-winning night vision technology, we know these aircraft will prove invaluable support during training exercises.”