Dauphins in Spanish Waters

In Spain, the Marine Fishery Directorate decided to replace its old helicopter fleet with new AS365 N3 Dauphins. The last machine was delivered in the fall of this year.

© Eurocopter/ P.Penna

In accordance with the € 16.8 million contract signed in December 2004 between Eurocopter and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, a second AS365 N3 Dauphin was delivered to the Marine Fishery Directorate in Alicante on 2 October 2006. The new Dauphins will gradually replace the current fleet of Agusta 109 Cs. The agreement signed by the Ministry of Agriculture also calls for the acquisition of three additional Dauphin N3s, with deliveries scheduled until 2008.

“The first AS365 N3 Dauphin that we received in July is based in Alicante on the Mediterranean coast. The second machine delivered in October will be performing missions out of Santander on the Atlantic coast,” said José Navarro, Deputy General of Inspection at Spain’s Marine Fishery Directorate.
“The Dauphins will perform two types of missions to reinforce the directorate’s marine airborne operations. First of all, they will be used to inspect, monitor, and control the fishing fleet. In this role, they will be flown day and night to supervise activities in Spain’s coastal waters and fishing zones. Second of all, they will provide support for the fishing boats by performing search and rescue missions, for example.”

The AS365 N3 Dauphin will be a tremendous time-saver for the Marine Fishery Directorate. Up until now, the capacities of helicopter operations were limited due to the payload and space restrictions of the older aircraft. T
he Dauphin is both larger and faster than its predecessors, and also provides better performance. It is equipped with more modern equipment based on new technology, which means the helicopters will perform their missions more effectively.

“Our new Dauphins are equipped with the latest technology0” explained Mr. Navarro. “They have a console that continuously centralizes in a single database all the cartography data, radar transmissions, images from the FLIR(1) and photos taken on location. The console also includes data sheets for the fishing boats (licenses, permits, etc.). With these new features, we can perform our patrol work more quickly and in modern, comfortable conditions.”

The company Helisureste, a subsidiary of the group Inaer, will be operating the two AS365 N3 Dauphins. The company has been working closely with the Maritime Fishery Directorate since 1992. Maintenance activities will be handled by Hispacopter, a Eurocopter- certified service provider.

Belén Morant

(1) Forward Looking Infra Red