The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) has recently made an important acquisition by ordering two turbine-powered Enstrom 480B helicopters. This announcement was made by the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation on April 17, 2023, although the contract was actually signed by Zambia’s Ministry of Defence on February 23 of the same year. The helicopters will be stationed in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, and will be used for both training and utility missions.
The Enstrom 480B helicopter is known for its reliability, durability, and versatility, making it an ideal choice for a range of missions. This particular model is turbine-powered, meaning it is equipped with a turbine engine that delivers high power and efficiency, allowing the helicopter to operate effectively in a variety of conditions.
The two utility helicopters will be equipped with cargo hooks and hard points for cameras, as well as Garmin avionics and glass panels. One helicopter will be supplied with a full glass cockpit and one with a hybrid glass and analogue panel to provide training with a flight deck similar to the gauge-equipped Mi-17s used as the mainstay of the fleet.
“We are very excited to be supporting the ZAF missions,” said Enstrom’s VP of Sales & Marketing, Dennis Martin. “The 480B will be a lot more efficient than some of the other light helicopters they were using, but with its performance and quick reconfiguration options, the 480B will provide the capability and flexibility they need.”
The purchase of these helicopters is a significant step forward for the Zambia Air Force in terms of enhancing its operational capabilities. With the addition of these helicopters, the ZAF will be able to train its pilots and personnel more effectively, while also carrying out various utility missions.
Training is a crucial aspect of any air force, and the inclusion of a training package in this deal demonstrates Zambia’s commitment to providing its personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their duties safely and effectively. The Enstrom 480B is a popular choice for training purposes, as it is easy to handle and maintain, and provides a stable platform for trainees to learn the basics of helicopter operations.
In addition to training, the Enstrom 480B is also well-suited for a range of utility missions, such as transportation of personnel and equipment, search and rescue operations, and aerial surveying. These capabilities will prove invaluable to the Zambia Air Force, particularly in remote or hard-to-reach areas where other forms of transportation may not be available.
Overall, the acquisition of these two Enstrom 480B helicopters is a positive development for the Zambia Air Force and reflects the country’s commitment to enhancing its military capabilities. With its versatility and reliability, the Enstrom 480B is an excellent choice for both training and utility missions and is sure to prove to be a valuable asset for the ZAF.
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