Receiving new helicopters
Receiving new helicoptersIsrael Police

The Israel Police today completed the process of fortifying its operational air space with the implementation of the second phase of the helicopter upgrade project and the acquisition of two advanced bi-engine helicopters. This will assist in the fight against crime, terror, and road accidents, as well as enhance the police's command and control capabilities.

"Our role is to maintain public safety and security with the most advanced and effective tools, such as modern helicopters, which were specially designed and built for the operational needs of the Israel Police to provide professional police service to the public and operational response to the organization at all times," said a police statement.

Yesterday an official ceremony was held in Dallas, Texas, in the presence of Deputy Police Commissioner Zohar Dvir and Commander of the Air Police Division, Nir Rosenthal, in which the Israel Police received the new twin-engine Airbus H-145 helicopters, which will arrive in Israel in the coming weeks. In addition, as part of the lessons learned from the Carmel forest fire disaster, the new helicopters will form part of the national firefighting apparatus and will be able to carry water and help extinguish fires and deploy special forces during an emergency.

The new helicopters have advanced operational capabilities, including the ability to fly longer sorties, greater air maneuverability, space to carry more commanders and fighters, ability to carry water to extinguish fires, and they upgrade the technological capabilities that direct police forces operating on the ground in a variety of tasks. In this way, the police will complete the process of aerial buildup by replacing the entire fleet of old helicopters with four H25 helicopters and two powerful H-145 helicopters.

The project, led by the Internal Security Ministry, is estimated to cost about a half-billion shekels over a 20-year period, including ongoing purchase and maintenance of the helicopters. The helicopters were purchased through Elbit Systems, which won the Internal Security Ministry's tender, and will be distributed by AirBus Helicopters, which was selected by Elbit in the tender, and who will also handle training and certification of the police air force pilots to fly the new helicopters.

Deputy Police Commissioner Zohar Dvir said: "The Israel Police conducts complex and integrated air and ground operations to deal with serious crime and terror with the new helicopters being the spearhead and a quick response to various scenarios and enforcement activities carried out in cooperation with police units operating on the ground."

Commander of the Air Division - Brigadier General Nir Rosenthal said: "We just received helicopters that will open up new areas of activity and will provide the Israel Police with improved operational capabilities that will be optimal and appropriate to the challenges facing us. The new helicopters will provide the Israel Police and the Fire and Rescue Authority with the ability to transport forces and cargo to any point in the country at any point in time."