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Bidvest Protea Coin Robinson R66 Turbine Sentinel

Since acquiring our first helicopter in 2010, Bidvest Protea Coin (BPC) has consistently provided our clients with a highly effective “eye in the sky.” Since then, BPC has developed a Tactical Airwing “airspace rotor print” that now spans across eight provinces. With 12 approved commercial operators, 22 helicopters, 26 active pilots, numerous tactical flight officers and support staff, we accumulate over 10,000 flight hours annually. This comprehensive rotor-print network creates a value add for all BPC’s clients whenever our helicopters are active, allowing us to better secure infrastructure, protect assets, and save lives proactively.

Bidvest Protea Coin has a pioneering history of employing new technology to secure our clients’ interests. This commitment to innovation is deeply ingrained in our culture and we pride ourselves on decades of experience and continuously evolving security practices.

Sustainability, however, is a cornerstone to securing any environment. To achieve this, we employ an arsenal of next-generation weaponry, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Introducing Our Latest Technological Advancement
We are excited to announce the addition of state-of-the-art technology to our fleet. The BPC Airwing now features a Robinson R66 Turbine Sentinel Helicopter surveillance platform, equipped with a multi-mission sensor package. This marks the first successful integration of a military-grade thermal sensor on the Robinson R66 Turbine helicopter worldwide.

The R66 light turbine helicopter was chosen as the ideal aerial platform due to its impressive track record – surpassing 1-million fleet hours globally. Its reliability and performance capabilities make it perfect for surveillance and crew transport missions in diverse environments.

From the outset, BPC was in search of the most advanced, up-to-date thermal sensor suite available. To equip the R66 Turbine for its mission, we partnered with Hensoldt – a joint venture company leveraging South African and European defence technologies. Hensoldt provided a bespoke surveillance package, perfect for BPC’s varied mission scenarios, featuring their latest-generation military optics: the Hensoldt Goshawk II multi-sensor turret. The system integration and servicing are done in-house at Hensoldt’s Pretoria-based R&D and manufacturing centre, guaranteeing seamless serviceability.
The Goshawk II Multi-Sensor Gimbal: Unparalleled Capabilities
  • Thermal Imager: With high-resolution HD medium-wave infra-red thermal imaging technology, our helicopter crew can detect human-size targets from over 8km away – even in pitch darkness. Active tracking capability enhances precision.
  • Urban Di erentiation: In dense urban environments, the thermal imager distinguishes between human threats, friend or foe (FIFO), from distances up to 2km.
  • Real-Time Tracking: Laser range finding guides our teams and law enforcement to moving targets accurately.
  • Daytime Surveillance: An advanced Hi-Definition camera linked to the NATIS database enables license plate recognition during daylight hours. This allows our helicopter crew to assess vehicles and respond to possible threats in flight.
  • Complete Situational Awareness: A multi-band downlink connects helicopter telemetry with ground forces and our National Operations Room – providing real-time imagery and communication for complete situational awareness and evidence gathering.

The integration of this military-grade surveillance sensor suite to the R66 Turbine helicopter has established Bidvest Protea Coin at the forefront of security technology worldwide. Our ongoing partnership with Hensoldt ensures continuous research and development, shaping the future of optic technologies in the security environment.

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