Second world-class helicopter joins WA Police Air Wing fleet

14 December 2023

The Cook Government has delivered a second state-of-the-art five bladed Airbus H145 helicopter to the WA Police Force.

  • New Airbus H145 helicopter lands at WA Police Force aerial unit
  • Completes a $54.3 million upgrade of the Air Wing fleet
  • Aviation assets improve response time and enhance operational awareness during emergency operations

The Cook Government has delivered a second state-of-the-art five bladed Airbus H145 helicopter to the WA Police Force.

Compared to previous Air Wing helicopters, the Airbus H145 offers improved response time, operational versatility and technological enhancements.

The new aerial assets are equipped with world-class video and data-link technology allowing high-definition footage to be live-streamed to any WA Police officer via their OneForce mobile phone as well as direct to the State Operation Command Centre (SOCC).

This provides both frontline responders and command teams with crucial intelligence, enhancing operational awareness in real-time. 

Airbus H145s have outstanding performance and multi-mission capabilities. They can be airborne in just two minutes - eight minutes faster than the previous Air Wing helicopters – and can fly further, faster. 

Since the first of the German-made aircraft launched into action for WA Police four months ago, it's spent close to 400 hours airborne and assisted in more than 466 police tasks, including pursuits, rescues and surveillance operations.

The Cook Government's multi-million-dollar WA Police Air Wing investment includes two maintenance engineers and equipment to keep each helicopter airborne for up to 800 hours per year.

Initially expected to be operational by March 2024, the second Airbus H145 is ready for deployment months ahead of schedule.

The ageing Kawasaki Bolkow BK117 helicopter will be decommissioned after 30 years helping to protect Western Australians.

Comments attributed to Police Minister Paul Papalia:

"The Airbus H145 helicopters are proven force multipliers.

"They are crook catching, crime-fighting, aerial assets of immense value to WA Police.

"The ability to beam live video footage direct to units on the ground gives officers a major tactical advantage.

"In July, the WA Police Force became the first law enforcement agency in the southern hemisphere to own one of these high-tech helicopters – now it has two. 

"On the ground and in the sky, the Cook Government is supporting WA Police with the best and latest equipment to help keep our community safe."

Comments attributed to Police Commissioner Col Blanch:

"The Airbus H145 has already proven to be a capability enhancer, ideal for the wide variety of operations police conduct throughout Western Australia.

"In particular, the new helicopter is proving to be especially effective when working with our Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology which helps to track and apprehend high risk motor vehicle offenders.

"This helicopter also offers significantly advanced safety features that are not available in the old helicopter fleet aimed at keeping our crews safe."