Enstrom Challenges Border Patrol Buy of EC120s
Enstrom Helicopter Corp. has protested the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's September 2004 decision to acquire 60 EC120 Colibris from Eurocopter for its border protection agency's low-level surveillance and security patrol missions.
Enstrom had entered its turbine-powered 480B into that protracted competition. The company dispatched representatives to Washington. D.C. late last year to argue that the 480B was better suited to the border-patrol requirements, in part because it is designed and built in the United States. (Eurocopter has said that the border patrol aircraft will be built at its new production facility at Golden Triangle Airport in Columbus, Miss.
American Eurocopter's share of the border patrol order would be worth up to $75 million over the planned five-year term of the contract. Deliveries of the first batch of 15-20 EC120s to the agency are to start in the second quarter of this year.