Lithuanian Airbus Dauphin AS365. (Airbus photo)
The Lithuanian Air Force has renewed the HCare Infinite material management contract for its fleet of three Dauphin AS365 N3+ search-and-rescue helicopters, a deal under which the aircraft averaged 97% availability during the previous three years.
The helicopters entered service performing SAR missions in 2015 with a three-year full warranty and Airbus’ commitment to maintaining at least an 80% fleet availability rate.
“Airbus has far exceeded the availability rate agreed upon in the HCare Infinite support and service contract, achieving near-perfect 97% fleet availability,” said Lt Col. Antanas Matutis, Šiauliai Air Base Commander. “As a direct result, our team was able to ensure continuous around-the-clock service to those in need of rescue in Lithuania, which we hope to continue through this contract renewal.”
Lithuania was one of the first customers to choose HCare Infinite, Airbus’ most comprehensive level of HCare material management services. The terms require Airbus to guarantee the operational availability of the country’s Dauphin fleet, including technical support and supply of spare parts, tools and consumables.
Under the deal, the LAF has direct access to Airbus’ parts inventory in Šiauliai, Lithuania, as well as the Airbus parts-by-the-hour pool – a dedicated high-availability pool located in Les Florides, Marignane, France. In addition, a dedicated technical representative is stationed on LAF premises working closely with the company’s customer support manager in Marignane. Aircraft performance is measured on a daily basis.
“Support plans like HCare Infinite with performance commitments taken by Airbus contribute towards our goal of building trusted, long-term partnerships with our customers,” said Matthieu Louvot, executive vice president of support and services at Airbus Helicopters. “In this case, Lithuania can focus its energy on effectively performing life-saving missions while Airbus takes care of all the rest.”
Airbus Helicopters’ range of HCare material management services starts out with Easy, which involves on-request catalogue services, progresses to Smart, which includes four by-the-hour options and builds to Infinite where Airbus makes full availability commitments.
LAF’s renewed contract is for a second term of three years. Today, seven customers with more than 100 total aircraft have opted for HCare Infinite, according to Airbus.Supported helicopters include H135s, H145s, Dauphins and Super Pumas, performing a wide variety of missions: SAR, law enforcement, training and military. They operate in the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia Pacific, including the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, which launched its agreement in 2016.