The new helicopter Eurocopter AS365N3+ Dauphin of the Lithuanian Air Force landed at the Šiauliai airbase on Tuesday, the Ministry of National Defence said.
© Reuters/Scanpix

It is the first of the three search-and-rescue helicopters contracted for by the Lithuanian Armed Forces together with the Ministry of Environment from European Union (EU) funds.

According to the press release, Europcopter is planned to deliver and hand over the second and the third helicopters to the Lithuanian Armed Forces by the end of the year.

"We are retiring dated Russian-manufactured helicopters and continue to fit up our armed forces with western equipment. It matters to us that our pilots will fly more up-to-date, new and more efficient aircraft," Defence Minister Juozas Olekas said.

As laid out in the arrangement of cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Lithuanian Armed Forces is committed to using at least 75 flight hours for environmental observation and control annually. The AS365 Dauphin will complete environmental monitoring and control from the air tasks and search and rescue missions: search for people lost at sea, extinguish fires, transport patients or organs for transplantation, support state and municipal institutions in emergencies.

The procurement contract was signed between the Lithuanian Armed Forces and Eurocopter in October of 2013. The total value of the contract amounts to roughly 52 million euros.

The new helicopters will replace the Russian-made Mi-8 helicopters that are currently used for search-and-rescue purposes but are about to go out of date.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanian PM to meet NATO chief over additional support

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is to meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg...

Seimas panel head to propose to raise intelligence body funding by EUR 4 mln - media

Vytautas Bakas , chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense , will propose to...

Fake news on 'NATO plans to attack Belarus' planted on Lithuanian news website - media

A fake news story alleging that NATO is planning to attack Belarus was planted on Kas Vyksta Kaune...

Lithuanian troops to be decorated after Mali deployment

Lithuanian soldiers of the 1st Territorial Unit, Dainava Military District, National Defense Volunteer...

Seimas allows Lithuania to send more troops to international operations

Lithuania will be able send more troops and civilians to international operations in the next two years.