Tunisia’s National Guard Air Unit is flying three Bell 429 GlobalRanger helicopters, which monitor the country’s coastline amongst others.
The Tunisian government announced the helicopters were operational in August 2019. They arrived in Tunisia earlier in the year.
“This is the first air unit for the National Guard that is equipped with high quality helicopters worth 17.4 million US dollars,” said a government statement.
“The helicopters aim at monitoring the coastline and road traffic management as well as providing emergency response and disaster management including evacuation,” the statement added.
The Tunisian National Guard has 15 000 personnel and functions as both a defence force against external threats and as a security force protecting the nation internally, with a particular responsibility for border and coastal security.
Tunisia has strengthened its borders to deal with illegal migrants and terrorists from Libya.
Tunisian Bell 429s are fitted with a wire-strike protection system, a rescue hoist above the starboard cabin door, a searchlight under the tail boom, and have provision for an under-nose forward-looking infrared (FLIR) turret.
All three of Tunisia’s Bell 429s (TS-QGA, TS-QGB and TS-QGC) were manufactured in 2015.