The Mexican Navy took delivery of the first of the ten AS565 MBe Panther helicopters it purchased in 2014, becoming the first customer in the world to receive the new version of this multi-role, medium-class military rotorcraft. The Navy will receive three other units before the end of the year and the remaining six by early 2018.
The AS565 MBe Panthers will be operated by the Naval Aviation in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Pacific coast, where they will perform a range of missions including Search and Rescue (SAR), disaster relief transportation and evacuation, drug enforcement and coastal protection.
The AS565 MBe combines new and proven technologies to offer more value to operators. It is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines, which enhance its performance in hot & high conditions and enable it to achieve a top speed of 278 km/h and a range of 780 kilometers. It also boasts a new main gearbox, a latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot that reduces crew workload and makes the most demanding missions, such as SAR, easier to perform. More powerful and efficient, the AS565 MBe is also safer, more cost-effective and easier to operate.
Mexican Naval Aviation’s AS565 MBe Panthers fulfill NATO’s regulatory requirements in performing landings on moving ships 24 hours a day, and are thus able to operate right across Mexico’s territorial waters. Their equipment suite includes a main- and tail-rotor blade folding system, a deck-lock harpoon and an emergency flotation system.
Yesterday’s delivery of the first AS565 MBe Panther is an important milestone for Airbus Helicopters and for this iconic family of helicopters, which includes 1,000 helicopters currently in service in over 72 countries and have logged up 5.8 million flight hours.