The Omaha, Neb. Police Dept. is to be flying two new Bell Helicopter 206B-3 JetRangers by July, with the first expected delivery in March.
The department now flies six Bell OH-58s, a 35-yr-old aircraft. Although it will still fly the Kiowa, Sgt. Jeff Theulen, unit commander of the air support unit said, the aircraft were getting old and spares support has been difficult.
The JetRangers were ordered in September 2006. The base price of each was $1.3 million. The department plans to purchase a third JetRanger in 2009 for delivery in 2010.
The new JetRangers will be equipped with an L-3 Wescam 12/TS-200 forward-looking infrared. The department, said Theulen, is testing a Helilight searchlight by Universal Searchlight. Most of the helicopter missions are flown at night, he said.
Communications on the aircraft are provided by an 800-MHz bandwidth radio from Motorola. Department officials would not elaborate on the specific types of equipment used on the aircraft, citing security concerns.