The Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced the purchase of a second H145 helicopter to strengthen police operations in Western Australia.
This makes the WA Police Force the only law enforcement jurisdiction in the southern hemisphere to operate two new Airbus five-bladed H145 helicopters.
“Our police helicopters provide vital support to police operations across the state, and the addition of two new H145 helicopters will boost police capability to respond to emergencies and crime challenges," Premier McGowan said at a media conference earlier this week.
The second H145 is to replace the existing AS365 helicopter for WA Police Force, and Airbus says it will 'generate operational efficiencies, platform commonality and a greater number of available annual flight hours' with a fleet of two identical aircraft.
“On the ground and in the skies, we’re ensuring our police have a strong presence to keep our community safe. These new helicopters will be fitted with the latest avionics equipment and be able to deploy more rapidly than our existing aircraft," Police Minister Paul Papalia said.
The new H145 offers a range of capabilities for the WA Police Force, including single-pilot and instrument flight rules, along with night vision goggles capability, Airbus’ Helionix avionics suite and 4-axis autopilot.
Both H145 helicopters will be based in Perth, servicing the entire state.
“We are honoured by the WA Police Force’s continued trust in our products to support their critical operations. The H145 is well regarded as a reference law enforcement helicopter, and being able to support the WA Police Force with an H145 fleet, configured to include their mobile policing command post, is something that Airbus is extremely proud to be part of,” said Andrew Mathewson, Managing Director, Airbus Australia Pacific.
Airbus says the aircraft has an availability rate of up to 95 per cent.