Dallas, March 10, 2022 – The Kern County Sheriff’s Office in California will acquire two new Airbus H125s as part of a plan to modernize its aging fleet of helicopters.
A first-time Airbus customer, Kern County selected the H125 platform following a thorough vetting process and several flight demonstrations throughout 2020 and 2021. The new helicopters will protect and serve the county’s population of roughly 900,000, which includes the city of Bakersfield.
“We operate in a challenging environment with hot summers over 100 degrees, cold winters with temperatures below freezing, and as we tested and compared the H125 with other platforms, it quickly became evident that the H125 was the best helicopter overall for all of our missions and provided the best value for the County of Kern,” said Kern County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Lieutenant Joel Swanson. “We’ve operated an Air Unit for 50 years, and we are the only law enforcement airborne support in a county the size of small states. We cannot wait for these aircraft to be delivered and be put to use to support our deputies and serve the citizens of our community.”
Kern County spans roughly 8,100 square miles with a diverse terrain that includes valleys, mountains and desert, elevations of 300 ft. to 8,000 ft. Its temperatures in summer can exceed 105 degrees, requiring a helicopter than can deftly navigate hot and high conditions. In addition, the sheriff’s department sought a platform with impressive endurance, payload capability and the most advanced safety features on the market.
A multi-mission workhorse, the H125 boasts a powerful performance, enhanced maneuverability and reduced pilot workload, all in one cost-effective platform. As the leading airborne law enforcement helicopter for many state and local agencies, the H125 account for nearly half of all intermediate single-engine helicopters delivered for that mission in North American over the last decade.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to the Airbus family,” said Ron Kelley, airborne law enforcement segment manager at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “The H125 has become a trusted tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S., and we are proud to support those missions.”
Standard features on the H125 include dual hydraulics, dual channel engine FADEC, a crash resistant fuel system, and advanced glass-panel cockpit displays. Kern County’s fleet will be configured with the latest search, communications, and surveillance equipment to support its various airborne law enforcement public safety missions.
Delivery is expected later this year from the Airbus Helicopters, Inc. production facility in Columbus, Mississippi.
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