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Mexico receives new Panther rotorcraft from Airbus Helicopters

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The new Panther helicopter of Mexican Navy. An Airbus Helicopters photo

PARIS (BNS): Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first upgraded AS565 MBe variant of the Panther multi-role helicopter to the Mexican Navy on September 28.

The Navy took delivery of the first of the ten AS565 MBe Panther helicopters it purchased in 2014, becoming the first customer in the world to receive the new version of this multi-role, medium-class military rotorcraft, the European helicopter manufacturer said.

The Navy will receive three other units before the end of this year and the remaining six by early 2018, the company added.

The helicopters will be operated by the Naval Aviation in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Pacific coast, where they will perform a range of missions including Search and Rescue (SAR), disaster relief transportation and evacuation, drug enforcement and coastal protection.

The AS565 MBe combines new and proven technologies to offer more value to operators. The rotorcraft is equipped with two Safran Arriel 2N engines, which enhance its performance in hot & high conditions and enable it to achieve a top speed of 278 km/h and a range of 780 kilometers.

It also boasts a new main gearbox, a latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot that reduces crew workload and makes the most demanding missions, such as SAR, easier to perform. More powerful and efficient, the AS565 MBe is also safer, more cost-effective and easier to operate, according to Airbus Helicopters.

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