The engineering and technology group SENER and Babcock have completed a life extension programme for the Spanish Navy AB212 helicopter fleet.
Completion of the programme, known as PEVH AB212 in its Spanish acronym, was marked yesterday in a ceremony held at FEINDEF, the international defence and security exhibition taking place in Madrid from May 29 to 31, in front of one of the seven AB212s that are part of the effort, exhibited at SENER’s stand in FEINDEF. Spanish Admiral Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA) Teodoro López Calderón, SENER vice-president Andrés Sendagorta, and Babcock Spain CEO Ángel Rodero, took part in the ceremony.
Under a joint venture by SENER and Babcock, the PEVH AB212 has upgraded and delivered to the Spanish Defence Ministry’s General Armaments and Materials Department (DGAM in its Spanish acronym) seven Spanish Navy AB212 helicopters that originally became operational in 1974. Thanks to the addition of advanced equipment and avionics, the navy has been able to extend the useful life of its seven helicopters by at least 15 years and now has an upgraded squadron capable of operating on several navy vessels undertaking long- and medium-range missions, unrestrictedly within controlled airspaces, both military and civil, in compliance with all requirements under the new regulations, including IFR operations.
The life extension programme has given them new features such as surveillance radar, electro-optical (EO/IR) vision system, self-protection and self-defence systems (ballistic protection, missile warning system, and a Gatling-type defensive weapon), GPS navigation system with moving map, and cargo hoist. Equally, the update of the helicopter power generation systems including restructure and replacement of wiring, and replacement of navigation, avionics systems and engine instrumentation for a glass cockpit, NVG compatible, integrated mission system and the modernisation of communications systems.
The AB212 is operated by the Spanish Navy’s oldest extant squadron, the 3ª Escuadrilla, created in 1965 with four Agusta-Bell AB204Bs.