Airbus Helicopters Inc. has delivered the first (of 16) specially-configured H125 helicopters to US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO).

Airbus and AMO collaborated in development of the aircraft as part of a long-term fleet upgrade initiative: the resulting configuration has led to one of the most advanced, high-tech law enforcement helicopters ever developed, according to a company statement on 19 August.

Our mission is to safeguard the nation by anticipating and confronting security threats,” commented Steve Boyer, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner for AMO. “Airbus Helicopters’ continued commitment to designing, manufacturing and delivering quality products will enable AMO personnel to successfully and safely carry out this mission.”

The first helicopter was tested and delivered from Airbus’ facility in Grand Prairie, TX. The remaining aircraft are being built in Columbus, MS, where a workforce of 40% US veterans also produces the UH-72A LAKOTA for the US Army and has delivered more than 450 single-engined H125s for the North American market.

Following a rigorous analysis of mission needs and next-generation aerospace technology, AMO developed a set of requirements for the new helicopters, which Airbus put in place through nearly 30 Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs). This series of documents is tied together through a primary all-encompassing STC that ensures all systems interact properly with one another and with the baseline aircraft.

Airbus and AMO have a longstanding relationship of over 30 years, during which Airbus has delivered more than 100 helicopters from the H120/H125 family. Known for its power, versatility and excellent performance in ‘hot and high’ conditions, the H125 features dual hydraulics, dual-channel FADEC, a crash-resistant fuel system and advanced glass-panel cockpit displays.

The H125 is the single most popular law enforcement helicopter in the US, accounting for nearly half of all helicopters delivered for that mission in North America over the last decade. (Photo via Airbus)

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