Babcock and Airbus Helicopters have been awarded a 12-year contract to support the EC145 helicopter fleet of the General Directorate of Civil Security and the French Gendarmerie Nationale, a service within the French Military, announced on 13 May 2024. 

In addition to ongoing support, Babcock and Airbus Helicopters will assist in the phased retirement of the EC145 fleet, which will gradually be replaced by Airbus H145 helicopters. 

Pierre Basquin, Chief Executive Aviation and CEO of Babcock France, commented on the contract: “The Sécurité Civile and Gendarmerie Nationale are key figures in emergency and critical operations management in France. We are proud to be supporting them as they phase out their EC145 fleet. This new contract is a testament to our expertise and know-how on the Airbus H145 and H135 helicopters, and to the trust our customers place in us.”

The contract, issued by the French Ministry of Armed Forces Directorate of Aeronautical Maintenance (DMAé), covers the support of 48 Airbus EC145 helicopters operating across mainland France and overseas territories. This fleet consists of 33 civil and 15 military helicopters.

Under the terms of the contract, Babcock will handle central technical assistance, mission equipment, associated ground support resources, and manage the fleet’s spare parts inventory. 

Since 2016, Babcock has supported the Airbus H135 fleet of the Gendarmerie Nationale and French Customs. Over the past year, together with Airbus Helicopters, Babcock has also provided support for the four new H145 helicopters delivered to Civil Security.

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The H145 was selected in April 2024 by the UK Ministry of Defence for its Brunei and Cyprus operations, in a contract to procure seven of the rotary aircraft. In the same month Honduras ordered two H145 helicopters for its defence forces, raising its fleet size for the airframe from four to six H145.