Leonardo announced today further orders for its AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter for public service and security operations in Italy, with contracts for eight aircraft valued at approximately 112 million euro.
The Italian Coast Guard has signed a contract for two AW139s to perform search and rescue missions, with deliveries to be completed by the end of 2018, while the Italian Customs and Border Protection Service (Guardia di Finanza) has ordered six to perform patrol operations, with deliveries to be completed by 2020.
With these aircraft deliveries both operators will have a fleet of 14 AW139s each, allowing a further enhancement in mission capability and simplified logistics as they replace ageing AB412 aircraft. The Italian Coast Guardrecently passed the 10,000 flight hours milestone with its AW139 fleet, having saved many lives in operation and providing evidence of the outstanding effectiveness, reliability of the aircraft and successful partnership with Leonardo. Italian Customs and Border Protection Service has been using its AW139s for a range of roles across the nation including mountain and maritime patrol and reconnaissance, law enforcement, SAR and homeland security.
According to the aerospace-technology.com, the AW139 (formerly known as the AB139) is a medium twin-turbine helicopter, which was developed by Bell Agusta Aerospace, a joint venture of Bell Helicopter Textron of the US and AgustaWestland.
The AW139 is available in both civil and military configurations and is capable of carrying up to 15 passengers or 2,500kg (5,500lb) useful load. Civil applications include passenger transport, law enforcement, utility and offshore oil support. Other roles include search and rescue (SAR), cargo lift and firefighting.