Representatives from the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Department attending the ceremony included Mr. E.C. Lopez Veiga, Minister of the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Department, and Mr. Fernando Novoa, the Technical Director of Xunta's search and rescue service.
Steve Estill, Vice President Worldwide Sales and Bud Grebey, Vice President Communications and Marketing were also on hand representing Sikorsky.
The Xunta de Galicia's search and rescue service provides Coast Guard coverage off northwest Spain. Created in 1990, it was the first of its kind in Spain and the second in Europe.
The service in the past had leased its rescue and maritime patrol helicopters, but selected the S-76C+ on April 2, 2004 as the first helicopter it will own. The S-76C+ was chosen among several competitors because of its superior technical and economic merits and its close compatibility with Xunta's mission requirements. The S-76C+ aircraft will be shipped to Spain via air freighter.
The Xunta's main mission is search and rescue over sea and land and fisheries surveillance and inspection. Secondary missions include support of emergency medical services, civil protection, security activities and general logistics work.
The S-76C+ also meets the customer's requirement for dash speeds of more than 155 ktas, even when fully equipped for search and rescue. The aircraft is also capable of rescues at ranges of up to 235 nm.
Other customers of the S-76 include the Spanish Air Force, which flies eight S-76C+ helicopters.
The S-76C+ is a venerable fixture in offshore oil, corporate, search and rescue and EMS activities across the globe. Close to 600 Sikorsky S-76 helicopters are currently operating in 44 countries by 192 operators, accumulating over three and a half million flight hours with an extraordinary safety record, while providing the best combination of operating costs and performance in their weight class.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.