New Sikorsky S-92A support helicopters delivered to Falklands
Two new Sikorsky S-92A helicopters, operated by Bristow Group Helicopters, have been delivered to The Falkland Islands to transport people, spares and supplies.
The S-92As, based at the Mount Pleasant Complex (MPC) headquarters of British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI), will replace Sikorsky S-61N helicopters. These aircraft have operated as support helicopter in the Falklands for the past seven years on the current contract.
Bristow Group started using the Sikorsky S-92A for missions earlier this summer. Both S-92s are now fully operational. The new helicopters are equipped with more modern systems, are more reliable, and can operate in poorer weather conditions than their predecessors, according to the British Ministry of Defence. Bristow will continue to operate the Leonardo AW189 on search and rescue (SAR) missions. Engineering staff are being trained to service and maintain both aircraft types.
Group captain Jamie Grindlay, deputy commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, said: “The support helicopter transition is now complete, with Bristow flying people and freight across the Falkland Islands using both new Sikorskys. The second new S-92 arrived recently and has now taken over from the older S-61 – a stalwart of these islands.”
The S-61s had now started retirement after 40 years of service, he added. “Alongside the Leonardo AW189, which provides round-the-clock search-and-rescue cover, the new S-92s offer our forces modern aircraft equipped for the challenges of the Falklands environment now and in the future.”
Barry Paton, team leader of the Multi Helicopter Platforms delivery team at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), the British Ministry of Defence’s procurement group, said: “We are proud to have worked collaboratively with our colleagues at Strategic Command and industry to deliver this significant uplift in capability which will provide a sustained long-term capability in the Falkland Islands.”
Top and above: Bristow Group operates both the Leonardo AW189 and the Sikorski S-92 on the Falklands.