Photo: Airbus Helicopters
Photo: Airbus Helicopters

Two Airbus H225 heavy search and rescue helicopters are entering service with the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) in April. The agency said this is the first step in a renewal of its helicopter fleet.

The aircraft are being leased from Norwegian company Knut Axel Ugland Holding AS and will replace two of the ICG’s three Airbus AS332L1 Super Pumas, the first of which entered service in 1995. The ICG plans to purchase permanent replacements for all three Super Pumas in its fleet by 2022.

“The experience with our current fleet of Super Pumas has been excellent through the years,” said Commander S.G. Sindri Steingrimsson, ICG’s director of flight operations. “Overall, they have done a fantastic job for us here at the Icelandic Coast Guard, in some of the most challenging conditions for aircraft SAR operations in the world. We fully expect that the new Super Pumas will add great value to the safety and security of our operations, increasing capability and reliability while at the same time modernizing our technological standards to meet current needs.”

Airbus Helicopters is providing pilot and technician training on the H225 as well as ongoing maintenance and support.

Equipped with state-of-the-art electronic instruments and a 4-axis autopilot system, the H225 offers outstanding endurance and fast cruise speed, and can be fitted with a wide range of SAR equipment. Operated by two pilots, it can be configured with up to 18 seats or six stretchers.