Zambia has ordered a pair of Enstrom Helicopter 480Bs, with the rotorcraft to be employed by the nation’s air force.
“The helicopters will be based in Lusaka, and used for training and utility missions,” the US airframer announced on 17 April. It also will provide personnel training services under the terms of a deal signed on 23 February.
One of the Rolls-Royce 250 turbine-engined rotorcraft will be supplied with a full Garmin glass cockpit, while the other will have both modern avionics equipment and analogue instruments installed. This will “allow pilot students to have experience on the various ZAF [Zambian air force] platforms”, Enstrom says.
Cirium fleets data shows that the service currently flies a mix of frontline rotorcraft including the Bell 205, 206 and 212, plus the Mil Mi-171 and Harbin Z-9.
Additionally, the new training assets will be fitted with a cargo hook and mounting point for an electro-optical/infrared sensor, Enstrom says.
“The 480B will be a lot more efficient than some of the other light helicopters they are using,” says Dennis Martin, the company’s vice-president of sales and marketing. “With its performance and quick reconfiguration options, the 480B will provide the capability and flexibility they need,” he adds.
“These 480Bs are just the right fit for military and law enforcement missions,” says Shai Shalem, managing director of Safomar Aviation Group South Africa, which Enstrom says coordinated the sale and assisted with defining the aircraft’s configuration.