Yard buys ‘SAS’ anti-terror helicopters

BRITAIN’S biggest police force has bought three high-speed helicopters to take rapid reaction teams to the heart of terrorist emergencies. Elite firearms officers from the Metropolitan police will be transported to incidents at speeds of up to 150mph before they abseil into crowded city areas — prompting comparisons with American Swat teams.
The move is significant because it represents a convergence between police and military tactics. An incident of the gravity of the 1980 Iranian embassy siege, which was dealt with by the SAS, might in future be dealt with by the police.

The Met stepped up its armed response capabilities after the July 7 bomb attacks in London.

The three helicopters, costing £3m apiece, will each carry a squad of six. The first two will be in operation by the end of the year and the third in 2007. They are being equipped with abseiling equipment that will allow four men to descend simultaneously out of a hovering helicopter.


Who needs a Navy/RAF exchange? Any chance of flying with the Met?

Bring it on!
Didnt we used to do all of that with/from the Mighty Scout? All they had to do was upgrade them a bit and save themselves £millions !!!!!
Cant help it Cloudbuster, I cant stand to see the Government spend good money on crap equipment. I fell in love with the Scout and she will always remain one of the best helicopters ever made.
I think the boys already had the 109 before the FI debacle. I dont remember seeing any 109's down there. I know the Paras wrecked several helis at the race course.


IIRC, the A109s were liberated from the Argies in '82, repainted in Alan Mann colours for a while with subdued military serial numbers, before being painted in military colours.

The Army Air Corps operate four Agusta A.109As. Serials are ZE410, ZE411, ZE412 and ZE413. ZE410 is ex-Argentine Army A.109A Hirundo serial AE-334. ZE411 is ex-Argentine Army A.109A Hirundo serial AE-331. These latter two aircraft were found intact in the Falkland Islands and returned to the UK. A.109A Hirundo are still used by the Argentine Army unit (602) that flew them in the Falklands. Nine are still listed on strength of the Argentine Army.

Anyone got a spare anorak? 'Tis amazing what you can find with a little Googling. :?
The Met aircraft are the relatively new EC144's. Had a look at them last year...very nice. Same footprint as a 135 so potentially a good HEMS aircraft. I believe the old Agusta's are still going strong although I also believe replacement options are being looked at.

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