Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first three of the 11 AS565 MBe Panthers ordered by Indonesia, ahead of contract schedule, at a ceremony at Airbus Helicopters’ headquarters in Marignane, in the presence of representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence and the Indonesian Navy.
The contract with PT Dirgantara Indonesia was signed in late 2014. The delivery of the remaining helicopters will run through 2018.
The enhanced AS565 MBe variant offers an increased maximum take-off weight of 4,500kg. This will provide increased mission capabilities for the anti-submarine warfare missions of the Indonesian Navy.
The Mexican Navy was the first to receive the new Panther when it took delivery of the first of an order for 10 machines in September.
The AS565 MBe is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines and offers a top speed of 165kt and a range of 780km. It also boasts a new main gearbox, the latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot.
Airbus Helicopters is supplying the helicopters to Indonesian partner PT Dirgantara Indonesia, who will reassemble and outfit the rotorcraft in-country, acting as the design authority. This will include installation of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) suite which features a dipping sonar and torpedo launch systems, allowing the Indonesian Navy to carry out its most demanding missions.
The programme is the latest in a long-standing relationship between Airbus Helicopters and PT Dirgantara Indonesia, who celebrated their 40 years of strategic partnership earlier this month. The two companies have delivered more than 190 helicopters together, through joint programmes over the last four decades.