Eurocopter upgrade AS350 helicopters for Botswana Police
Botswana’s Police Air Support fleet of Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopters have been upgraded for night time missions.
Under the upgrade contract, Eurocopter South Africa modified the instrument panel and the FLIR camera observer’s console to be night vision goggle compliant. The crew are equipped with binocular NVGs.
“This added night-mission capability will be a major benefit to us as we have a responsibility to provide airborne law enforcement over a very large area. It means that poachers and other criminals will no longer be able to hide from us at night” explained the Botswana Police Air Support Unit’s commanding officer, director Pilane Sebigi.
In 2009, the then newly-established Botswana Police Air Support unit acquired the first of three AS350B3 helicopters.
Eurocopter Southern Africa CEO, Fabrice Cagnat said “We were and remain extremely proud to continue assisting Botswana’s Police Air Support unit. The AS350 B3 has a proven track record in police missions – especially in hot and high conditions – and we are confident that with this valuable night flight enhancement these aircraft will even further make a valuable contribution to safeguarding the safety and security of Botswana and her citizens”.
Other customers and operators of the AS350 include the South African Police Services Air Wing, which operates a fleet of fourteen AS350 B3s and a B2 version, the Angolan Police, and the Namibia Police.