On July 24, 2008, the Pakistan Army
flew two of its AS350 B3 Ecureuils to
Nanga Parbat, in the Himalayas, to
save two Italian mountaineers who were struggling at an altitude of over 6,000 meters.
The mountain rises to 8,125 meters and is the ninth highest in the world. Despite the
tough weather conditions, the rescue was a complete success. Since January 2006,
the Pakistan Army has had ten fully operational AS350 B3 Ecureuils in service.
This is the same aircraft that set the world altitude takeoff record on May 14, 2005,
from the summit of Mount Everest. At the beginning of 2009, ten AS550 C3 Fennecs –
the military version of the AS350 B3 Ecureuil – will add an extra dimension to
the Eurocopter fleet currently serving the Pakistan Army (SA330 L Puma, Alouette III
and Lama helicopters).