The Spanish Ministry of Defense this week acquired two more Airbus Helicopters EC135, making its fleet of 16 the world’s largest for military use of the aircraft, Airbus said.
The helicopters were delivered to the Spanish Army Air Mobile Force (FAMET) as part of a deal for eight EC135s signed in December. The six remaining helicopters will be delivered throughout 2014. The contract with Airbus Helicopters–formerly Eurocopter–also includes logistical support to maintain the aircraft.
Airbus said the additional EC135s will assist the Spanish Army in its “pressing need” to train helicopter pilots for tactical missions. Flying the EC 135 prepares pilots for larger helicopters, including the Cougar, Tight and NH90.
First flown in 1996, the lightweight, twin-engine EC135 is used around the world for emergency medical response, civil security and smaller-scope military missions. Spain has a total fleet of 60 of the aircraft that it uses beyond the military.
The military helicopter market may be shrinking in the United States, but Airbus is still seeing interest abroad. The company also inked a deal this week with Bolivian Air Force to provide six Super Puma AS332 C1e helicopters.