THK Gökçen Aviation, the commercial arm of Turkish Aeronautical Association THK, has taken the delivery of the first five twin-engine EC135.

The new rotorcraft, which are part of a firm order for 17 EC 135 placed in May this year, will be used to perform medical airlift duties in Turkey.

THK Gökçen Aviation and Saran Holding will deploy a fleet of 17 EC135 to provide helicopter medical emergency services (HEMS) in the country under a five-year air ambulance service contract with the Turkish Ministry of Health.

The remaining rotorcraft are scheduled for delivery in spring 2014.

Eurocopter sales and customer relations senior vice-president Olivier Lambert said that Turkey was a growing helicopter market and the EC135 continues to accompany the project of the Turkish Ministry of Health.

"According to Eurocopter, 25% of all medical emergency operations worldwide are performed with the EC135."

"With THK Gökçen Aviation, we have gained an excellent partner to strengthen our footprint in this strategically important country," Lambert said.

Eurocopter has been engaged in the HEMS operations of the Ministry of Health in Turkey since 2008.

According to Eurocopter, 25% of all medical emergency operations worldwide are performed with the EC135.

The EC135 features a wide cabin and offers high-performance, range and payload capacities, as well as low-noise operations, according to Eurocopter.

Designed to accommodate a maximum of eight passengers and featuring Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, the 3t light twin-engine helicopter provides easy maintenance, manoeuvrability, high-visibility and low vibration levels.

Around 1,100 EC135 helicopters are in-service worldwide, with more than 500 rotorcraft having been delivered in HEMS configurations.

Image: The new EC 135s will shorly begin air medical operations in Turkey. Photo: courtesy of Charles Abarr / Eurocopter.

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