MEXICO CITY – The Mexican navy has taken delivery of the last of 10 Panther AS-565 MBE helicopters acquired to bolster rescue capabilities, especially in disaster zones, officials said on Thursday.
The choppers are special versions equipped “to carry out military-naval operations,” the Navy Secretariat said in a statement.
The Panther helicopters will be assigned to ocean patrols, working with ships and interceptors.
The helicopters will be used for conducting search and rescue operations, medical flights, transporting personnel and hauling cargo.
The Panthers can operate in maritime and land settings, offering “fast and effective response” times, the secretariat said.
The choppers will help “improve operational activities in the areas of search and rescue,” helping save lives at sea, the secretariat said.
Navy high command chief Adm. Luis Gerardo Alcala and Airbus Mexico CEO Francisco Navarro attended the ceremony welcoming the helicopter to the fleet.