Third and final Enstrom 480B handed over to Botswana Police


Safomar Aviation has handed over the third and final Enstrom 480B helicopter to the Botswana Police Service Air Support Branch.

The first aircraft, BPS-11, was delivered in November 2020 and is in operation while the third and final aircraft (BPS-14) was handed over last week, Safomar announced on 31 March.

“The project has been facilitated by the Safomar Group of companies offering the Botswana Police Service Air Support a turn-key solution. This included the Aircraft Type Acquisition to Mission Equipment Selection and integration, Maintenance Support Services, Spares Support and Supply and Pilot and Engineer Training,” Safomar said.

Botswana Police Service pilots received training on the type in South Africa.

Safomar Aviation, Enstrom’s local dealer, in December 2019 announced the Botswana order for three Enstrom 480Bs. Once in service, the upgraded Enstrom 480Bs will be used for crime prevention, wildlife conservation, command and control and search and rescue as well as training.

The new helicopters are customized to the Botswana Police Service specifications and include navigation and communication equipment, cargo slinging and light emergency medical systems. Apart from specialist police duties, the aircraft can be quickly configured for the passenger role and carry three to five people.

Australia’s Trakka Systems is supplying A800searchlights and TC-300S multi-sensor cameras for the helicopters.

The Enstrom 480B multi-role light turbine helicopter is in service in more than 30 countries and this includes with the Indonesian National Police, Japanese Ground Self-Defence, Royal Thai Army, Colombian Air Force, Chilean Army, US Police departments, Venezuela Air Force etc.

The type first flew in 1989 and entered service in 1993. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-C20W turbine producing 313 kW although maximum continuous power is 206 kW. This gives a maximum speed of 230 km/h and endurance of five hours.