27 de jan. de 2010

Laboratório Aeroespacial Nacional: Selecionando Helicópteros Policiais para a Agência Policial Nacional da Holanda

Fonte do texto e imagens: http://www.nlr.nl/id~10068/l~en.html

Selecting police helicopters for the KLPD

Government organizations sometimes have to select technically complex equipment. The National Police Agency (KLPD) needed an independent expert to assist in selecting new helicopters. KLPD chose NLR.

Helicopters play an important part in police efforts to solve crime, search for suspects, and transport captives. The current generation of KLPD helicopters was in need of replacement, and the corps had to select a new type. Because NLR has extensive experience in evaluating and testing helicopters for the armed forces, KLPD approached us to advise on selection.

NLR began by supporting KLPD in drafting specifications for the new helicopters. It soon became apparent that they would serve a wide range of purposes. For example, they would have to be able to combine long hours of surveillance flights under difficult circumstances with the transportation of heavily armed intervention teams during terrorist threats. The helicopters would therefore have to be equipped with a variety of sensors, a passenger cabin, the most modern communications technology, and winches allowing the intervention teams to rappel swiftly down to the ground.

In addition, the new helicopters will be assigned the new task of providing assistance when calamities occur on North Sea oil rigs. The helicopters must therefore be equipped with a buoyancy system in case of an accident over the sea. NLR set up a points system to assess which characteristics were considered most important. Maintenance and lifespan proved to be key factors.

It soon became clear that a single type of helicopter could never meet all these specifications. Consequently, KLPD decided to order six police service helicopters and two of a larger type suitable for transporting anti-terrorist units. The tender attracted a number of candidates that were jointly assessed by KLPD and NLR, based on a review of the candidates' written specifications. In addition, a joint KLPD-NLR team visited the manufacturers to conduct test flights. Two types of helicopter were eventually selected: six Eurocopter EC-135s will be the police workhorses, while two Agusta Westland-139s will be deployed as personnel carriers.

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