The Ecuadorian Air Force has taken delivery of two H145s helicopters from Airbus Helicopters.

It is the first South American military customer that has placed orders for the twin-engine helicopter. Over the next year, six helicopters will be delivered to the airforce.

Named ‘Cobra’ by the Ecuadorian Air Force, the helicopters will be stationed with the 22nd Combat Wing in Guayaquil.

Along with the delivery of the H145s, the company will also be responsible for the training of 12 pilots and 15 technicians under the in-country operational training programme.

The six helicopters will be deployed to carry out missions pertaining to national security, including, border surveillance and the fight against drug trafficking.

It will also support rescue operations at high altitudes, medical evacuation (MedEvac) and assistance during natural disasters any time.

The helicopters feature equipment such as cargo hook, rescue crane, stretchers, searchlight, electro-optical camera for reconnaissance.

Currently, there are around 40 Airbus helicopters that are operational in Ecuador with civil and military clients.

Airbus Helicopters Latin America commercial vice-president Julien Negrel said: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Ecuadorian Air Force, which today celebrates its 100th anniversary.

“The new H145 will increase their operational capabilities thanks to its versatility and high performance in high and hot conditions and will allow them to face any mission with greater efficiency and serenity.

“Ecuador’s Ministry of Defence has been an Airbus customer for 40 years and I appreciate their confidence in our brand when it comes to renewing the country’s aerial capabilities with next-generation helicopters.”

In November last year, Airbus Helicopters delivered the first two of 20 H145M military helicopters to the Hungarian Defence Forces.