The Taiwan Air Force has taken delivery of three EC225 Mk-2 Super Puma search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopters from Eurocopter at Chiayi airbase.

The delivery follows a $110m contract for three aircraft signed in 2009 that also includes an option for a total of 20 helicopters.

The aircraft will undergo an assembling and testing process, before being delivered to Air Force Seagull Rescue Squadron by July next year.

The twin engine EC225 all-weather, all-topography aircraft is equipped with de-icing systems, life rafts, pop-out floats, life monitoring devices and automatic flight control systems.

Air force officials said the aircraft will be used to conduct SAR missions during the night and in rough weather conditions, and also airlift supplies to remote locations.

Currently, the air force operates 17 Sikorsky S-70C helicopters for SAR and VIP missions.