The Chilean Navy has taken delivery of the first of five H125 helicopters that will boost the service’s maritime search and rescue and patrol capabilities.
The helicopter was officially handed over to Chile by Airbus on December 22, at the Torquemada naval air base.
The single-engine H125s are replacing the Bell 206 Jet Ranger (UH-57B) helicopters that have been in service with the Chilean Navy since the 1970s.
According to the Chilean Navy, the first unit will be followed by two more in 2021 and the final two units in December 2022. Prior to its delivery, the first helicopter passed factory tests at the Airbus Helicopters facility in Brazil.
H125s carry up to six passengers and have a range of 340 nautical miles. While there are about 950 H125s currently in service worldwide, they are mainly used for high-performance missions in high and hot conditions. According to the helicopter manufacturer, the H125 holds the world record for the highest-altitude landing and takeoff, performed on Mount Everest at 8,848 meters.