Mexican Navy receives final Panthers
The Mexican Navy has taken delivery of the last of its 10 AS565 MBe Panther helicopters during a delivery ceremony at Airbus Helicopters in Marignane on 6th December.
The Mexican Navy received its final two AS565 MBe Panther helicopters during a delivery ceremony at Airbus Helicopters in Marignane on 6th December. With their order for ten units in 2014, the Mexican Navy became the launch customer of this new version. The first four helicopters were delivered in 2016 and the remaining six during the course of 2017.
Stationed at three naval bases in the Mexican states of Veracruz, Sonora and Michoacan, the helicopters are reported to perform an average of 300 flight hours for reconnaissance, patrol missions and training flights. Airbus has deployed a technical and logistical support team at Veracruz. Around 30 pilots have been trained to date, many of them receiving specific training in SAR and night vision goggles (NVG).
The upgraded AS565 MBe is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines offering enhanced performance in hot & high conditions, a top speed of 278 km/h and a range of 780km. It also boasts a new main gearbox, a latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot to reduce crew workload.