Leonardo announced 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 Euro 112 million.
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 Guard recently 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.
These latest orders by the Italian Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection Service bring the total number of AW139s chosen by Italian government operators to 53, covering a wide range of public utility roles including law enforcement and homeland security, patrol, special operations, search and rescue, command and control, government/VVIP transport, disaster relief and training.
The various Italian Government operators using the AW139 are able to benefit from shared logistics, training and support systems. Many law enforcement, maritime/border patrol and security agencies from countries around the world, including Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the UK, USA, Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, China, Estonia, UAE, Oman to name a few have selected or are already operating the AW139 to fulfil their requirements.
The AW139 can perform a wide range of roles including government missions, law enforcement, EMS, SAR, executive/private and government transport, utility and offshore transport. Over 250 customers from around 70 nations have already ordered more than 1,000 AW139s, nearly 900 of which are in service, confirming itself as the bestselling aircraft in its category.