The Icelandic Coast Guard has received two Airbus Helicopters H225 search-and-rescue (SAR) platforms as part of a revamp of its rotorcraft capabilities.
The two new helicopters will replace three AS332L1 Super Pumas that were received from 1995 and are being leased from Norwegian helicopter lessor Knut Axel Ugland Holding AS until a permanent replacement platform is purchased in 2022.
Airbus Helicopters said on 1 April that it is providing pilot and technician training, as well as maintenance and support under an 'HCare Smart Parts By the Hour' contract.
Iceland does not operate an air force, with all national aviation assets being flown by the coastguard. Besides the three Super Pumas, the organisation operates one Dash 8 Q300 maritime surveillance aircraft, and is responsible for a command and reporting centre at Keflavik Airbase as well as four FPS-117(V)5 long-range, 3D radars (located at Midnesheidi, Stokksnesi, Gunnolfsvíkurfjalli, and Bolafjalli). This Iceland Air Defence System (IADS) is part of the NATO Air Command and Control System.
As part of its wider role, the Icelandic Coast Guard provides SAR support to the NATO air policing and training mission that operates out of Keflavik. Participating nations typically spend their first week conducting familiarisation flights over the country under the control of the Icelandic Coast Guard Control and Reporting Centre Loki at Keflavik.
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