Eurocopter is proposing the AS565 MBe Panther to the Indian Navy’s planned acquisition of utility helicopters and the Indian Coast Guard’s anticipated purchase of ship-based light/medium helicopters. The Panther naval helicopter is displayed equipped with full armament complement.
“Eurocopter has made major investments in building up its product portfolio, which positions us to offer products that meet India’s mission requirements in bolstering its defense capabilities,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. “At the last Aero India event, we showcased the AS550 C3 Fennec, which was presented as the ideal replacement for India’s aging Cheetah and Chetak fleet. This time, we are bringing the combat-proven AS565 MBe Panther with a complete set of armament, which is in service in many military forces around the world.”
Eurocopter considers India as a key market, and has a long-established presence in the country. Its relationship with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) during more than five decades has seen hundreds of Eurocopter helicopters built in India under license, along with the production of composite assemblies for AS550/AS350 helicopters as part of Eurocopter’s global supply chain. In 2010, the company became the first helicopter manufacturer to establish a full-fledged subsidiary with the creation of Eurocopter India.
The AS565 MB Panther is a militarized version of Eurocopter’s Dauphin family. According to Eurocopter, it has demonstrated its abilities in India – as one of this helicopter type’s largest civilian operators is the country’s Pawan Hans Helicopters, with a significant AS365 N3 Dauphin fleet. The AS565 MBe is a combat and utility helicopter suitable for both ship-borne and shore-based operations, and also serves as a highly capable search and rescue system for both day and night operations. Accompanying the helicopter’s display at Aero India will be a comprehensive armament suite for use in sea and ground warfare – including an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo, ASW depth charge, gun and rocket pods, and a 0.5-in. sniper rifle.
For naval missions, the Panther comes with a fully-certified 4-axis digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) incorporating search and rescue modes, which enables search patterns to be flown automatically, along with automatic transitions to/from hover and automatic hover, as well as the ability to adjust the helicopter’s position from the hoist operator’s joystick.
Available for customer flights at Aero India 2013 will be an AS350 B3e from Davangere Sugar – the enhanced version of the single-engine AS350 B3, with exceptional lifting capability, extended range, fast cruise speed and great endurance in hot climates and high altitudes.