Sikorsky Aircraft announced on February 26 that the S-76D helicopter has commenced search and rescue (SAR) operations with the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). Sikorsky executives recently attended a ceremony with representatives from Mitsubishi Corporation and the JCG to mark the type’s entry into service.
The helicopter was delivered to Mitsubishi in July 2014 and became the first SAR-configured S-76D helicopter to be delivered as well as the first S-76D to enter service in Japan. Sikorsky and Mitsubishi have thus far contracted for eleven S-76D helicopters to be used for SAR missions by the JCG.
“The Japan Coast Guard launching its S-76D helicopter into search and rescue operations is a historic occasion,” said Shane Eddy, President, Sikorsky Commercial Systems and Services. “As we continue to deliver the new multi-mission S-76D helicopter into key market segments, this is the first to enter search and rescue service. At Sikorsky we have a passion and legacy for providing helicopters that save lives, and we are proud to support the Japan Coast Guard and Mitsubishi in this critical mission.”
The Japan Coast Guard has been flying S-76 aircraft in SAR configuration for many years and continues to build on its history. Specifically, it has flown the S-76C, S-76C+ and S-76C++ models. Alan Warnes