Photo courtesy of Airbus

Photo courtesy of Airbus

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in California has strengthened its public safety capabilities with two new Airbus Helicopters H125 AStar helicopters. The new aircraft are part of a long-term plan to update San Bernandino’s fleet of six AS350 B3 helicopters, an earlier model of the AStar.

The Sheriff's Department will use the helicopters for patrol, high-altitude rescues, and fire suppression. With more than 20,100 square miles, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States, and the department flies about 22,000 hours each year.

Built in Columbus, Miss., the single-engine H125 is powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine that delivers a higher cruise speed than its predecessor and is equipped with a new dual-channel FADEC and engine data recorder, which enhance the systems management. The aircraft is capable of carrying a wide range of thermal imagers, searchlights, hoists, and mission gear.

More than 220 H125/AS350s are in use at 54 law enforcement agencies across the United States, according to Airbus Helocipters, Inc.