Airbus Helicopters has been awarded a contract for the supply of AS332 C1e Super Puma helicopters to the Bolivian Air Force (FAB).
Under the contract, the company will supply a total of six helicopters to help FAB fight drug trafficking and also perform public-security and disaster-relief missions across the country.
The contract also includes a logistics package that will ensure high fleet availability in the coming years.
Bolivian Air Force air chief marshal general Victor Hugo Meneses Gomez said the latest-generation multi-role aircraft will enable the air force to successfully carry out its ongoing missions and face the challenges of the future.
”Bearing in mind the extreme operating conditions in Bolivia, the Super Puma was chosen mainly because of its versatility, safety and, above all else, its ability to operate at high altitude,” Gomez said.
Airbus Helicopters Sales and Customer Relations for Latin America vice-president Mesrob Karalekian said, ”The Super Puma is a powerful multi-role helicopter that is perfectly suited to the demands of operating in the region and which, thanks to its state-of-the-art onboard technology, allows missions to achieve more, all in complete safety.”
The latest purchase also includes a technology transfer programme that includes the training of more than 80 technicians and pilots in France and Bolivia, in addition to the supply of special tools for establishment of a maintenance centre, where intermediate inspections will be carried out, and two operational bases for smaller inspections, to enable FAB to acquire strategic autonomy.
Powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines, the AS332 C1e Super Puma is a multi-role helicopter featuring four-axis automatic flight control system (AFCS), and is designed to operate in the most austere environments.
The initial two helicopters will be handed over this year, while the remaining four are scheduled to be delivered before 2016.
Image: An AS332 C1e Super Puma multi-role helicopter in flight. Photo: © Airbus Helicopters 2014.