Tarbes, France, December 22, 2021 – Héli-Béarn, the first operator of Daher’s Kodiak 100 multi-mission aircraft in France, has been contracted by the country’s defense procurement agency to perform paratroop drops that will test and validate parachute systems for the French armed forces.
This contract was awarded by the aeronautical techniques expert center of France’s General Directorate of Armament (DGA-AT), and it covers the rental of a Héli-Béarn Kodiak 100 for a period of five years at the rate of 200 flight hours annually.
Héli-Béarn operates two Kodiak 100s, both of which entered service with the company earlier this year in southwestern France. One of them is equipped for the deployment of paratroopers, and it already has logged nearly 200 flight hours while performing some 600 rotations for civilian skydiving centers in France.
The Héli-Béarn Kodiak 100 also has welcomed students from the French military’s School of Airborne Troops (ETAP), which trains paratroopers for the country’s armed forces and its Gendarmerie national police force.
Based at Pau-Pyrenees airport, Héli-Béarn performs transportation and aerial work with both fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters, while also providing aviation maintenance, training and consulting services.
Daher’s Kodiak 100 is utilized for special missions worldwide, benefitting from the airplane’s ability to operate from uneven and unimproved runways, as well as on water with floats. In the paradrop configuration, the Kodiak 100 can be equipped with a sliding door and accommodates up to 15 paratroops/skydivers.