Airbus announced the delivery of the final two AS565 MBe Panther helicopters to the Mexican Navy on 6 December 2017.

These are the last of an order for ten of the helicopters placed in 2014, with four AS565s previously delivered in 2016 and six during 2017. The Panthers are a multi-mission helicopter that, Admiral Jose Maria Garcia Macedo, the Mexican Navy’s General Director of Naval Aviation, stated will be used “in both maritime and land environments for a wide range of missions, including maritime SAR, disaster relief, external load operations and even air ambulance.”

The aircraft has advanced avionics and controls, a new main gearbox, a latest-generation tail rotor and a 4-axis autopilot. Employing two Safran Arriel 2N engines, it shows enhanced performance in hot and high conditions and can achieve a top speed of 150 knots (278 km/h) and a range of 780 kilometers.

by Stephen W. Miller

Stephen W. Miller
A former US Marine ground combat and aviation officer instrumental in the adoption of wheeled armoured vehicles and manoeuvre warfare. He has extensive hands-on experience in development, acquisition, fielding, support and employment leading land, naval, and air programmes in the US and twenty-four other countries. [email protected]