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SAPS - Proud Recipient Of Two R44 Raven II Helicopters

(More helicopters to enhance our security capacity)

Today the South African Police Service has become the proud recipient of two R44 Raven II helicopters, with a further four to be delivered later this year. We have procured these six Robinson R44 Raven II helicopters as part of our FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup capacity- building programme, particularly intended to boost our air-support capabilities.

The R44 helicopters will be used for crime prevention flights, specialized operations, intelligence-driven operations, the recovery of stolen vehicles as well as for monitoring big events - such as the Soccer World Cup - in support of the existing fleet of helicopters. The low operating cost, quick turn around time and the maneuverability of the Robinson R44 helicopters will ensure that the SAPS utilizes these helicopters on a frequent basis.

Currently, the SAPS Air Wing operates thirteen (13) BO105 twin helicopters, two (2) BK117 twin helicopters, thirteen (13) AS350 helicopters and three (3) Hughes 500 helicopters throughout the country for airborne law enforcement. Some of these helicopters are also equipped with FLIR (forward looking infrared) cameras.

The helicopters will be deployed throughout South Africa wherever the need arises for air support. Helicopters in the SAPS have proven to be one of our most vital and effective tools in the fight against crime.

The SAPS has been training their own pilots as part of a Designated Pilot Training Programme for the last four (4) years and all the training is done on Robinson helicopters. The students fly 100 hours of training on the Robinson R44 helicopters and are therefore familiar with these helicopters. These members will be flying the Robinson R44 helicopters in order to rapidly gain sufficient experience before progressing onto the larger turbine helicopters of the South African Police Service.

Enquiries - Director Sally de Beer 082 779 86568 or Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo - 082 567 4153.

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