The Western Australian Air Wing fleet will use a second high tech helicopter for traffic enforcement and police pursuits.
The state government purchased the Eurocopter Dauphin, known as the Polair 62 in the 2009-10 budget for $20 million, which will add to the current fleet of four aircraft, including the unit’s existing BK-117 helicopter.
Police Minister, Rob Johnson said the second helicopter would mean police could deliver a superior level of service to both metropolitan and regional areas.
It would deliver a “safer community, a rapid response to crime and a high level of traffic enforcement”, Mr Johnson said.
“WA Police has spent six months reconfiguring the helicopter to accommodate the various systems that Police Air Wing need to carry out its policing role,” he said.
He said more than 3500 hours were spent on designing and integrating a range of electronic and electrical systems.
These systems include sophisticated sensor equipment, a forward-looking infra-red camera, a multi-agency communication suite, Tardis, special lighting, a rescue winch and other critical mission equipment.
Mr Johnson said this is a “major boost” to police efforts to “crack down on criminal activity” and will ensure WA Police have the most advanced equipment it needs to rapidly respond to any incidents occurring across the state.
According to the WA Government, the police department worked with local WA companies, Thomson Design and Premiair Aviation Maintenance, to design and complete the integration of the helicopter
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will conduct ground and air testing of the aircraft, with deployment dependent on CASA approvals.
The Polair 62 will be operational in approximately two weeks if its testing schedule is completed within its expected timeframe.
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