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Austrian Helicopter Teams On Training Exercise In Portugal

10 July 2012 - 

From 4 to 18 July 2012, Portugal hosts "Hot Blade 2012", a multinational helicopter exercise. The training is based at Ovar Military Airfield, near Porto and is part of the European Defence Agency's Helicopter Training Program. The Austrian Armed Forces are contributing by sending 45 soldiers and six Agusta Bell 212 helicopters.


"The Agusta Bell 212 is the workhorse of the Austrian helicopter fleet," says Colonel Hannes Mittermair, who is in charge of the Austrian contingent. "It will receive a midlife update next year, and we are happy to keep this helicopter in service for the next 20 to 25 years."

Outstanding Spirit

Mittermair's first reports from Portugal are positive throughout: "The Spirit of 'Hot Blade 12' is outstanding. All my crew feel very welcome and I think we will see a very successful training."


The exercise is designed to allow European helicopter crews to practice operations in a hot, high and dusty environment. Besides the focus on flying in challenging environmental conditions, efforts are made to maximize the integration of joint interoperability tasks. A wide range of scenarios, from special operations aviation, convoy escorts, reconnaissance operations and medical evacuations, are tested.

An Austrian AB-212 during a training flight. (Image opens in new window)

An Austrian AB-212 during a training flight.

On a joint mission with Portuguese special forces. (Image opens in new window)

On a joint mission with Portuguese special forces.

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