U.S DHS Customs and Border Protection: Light Enforcement Helicopter Contract
From the Eurocopter booth at Heli-Expo, American Eurocopter announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has entered into the first option year on the Light Enforcement Helicopter (LEH) contract and placed an order for six AS350B3s. This is the second order on the LEH contract that was awarded to American Eurocopter by the Department of Homeland Security in July 2008. “The AS350B3 has proven that it is well-suited for the CBP’s surveillance missions and security patrol,” said Marc Paganini, American Eurocopter President and CEO. “It provides a cost-effective, durable and high-performance solution to meet their varied mission objectives.”
The LEH contract with the Department of Homeland Security is a multi-year contract and may result in orders for a total of 50 AS350B3s and could be worth over US$150 million. The first helicopter on the contract was delivered in December 19, 2008 and to date, 14 aircraft have been delivered. The LEH aircraft are produced in the company’s facilities in Columbus, Mississippi. “Our employees take pride in knowing that aircraft they produce are an integral part in assisting the CBP in their important homeland security missions,” explained Paganini. The AS350 is a powerful and reliable aircraft that has established itself with its unmatched performance, extensive mission equipment options and the safety of its multiple-redundancy system design. With its proven law enforcement integration and unparalleled visibility, the AS350 family has become the preferred platform for U.S. law enforcement agencies and has emerged as an essential tool in the fight against crime.
The CBP Air and Marine has the largest airborne law enforcement fleet in the world and is responsible for nearly 7,000 miles of shared borders between the United States and Canada and Mexico. It also oversees 2,000 miles of coastal waters. The agency has more than 270 aircraft in its fleet including 53 AS350s and 18 EC120s. Both the AS 350 and the EC120 are well-suited for the CBP’s surveillance missions and security patrol.