Leonardo-Finmeccanica, an Italian multinational aerospace and defence company announced July 4 it received an order from the Italian Coast Guard for additional two AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters.
By placing this order the Italian service will bring its AW139 fleet to twelve with options for two more helicopters.
The AW139s will be used to perform a range of missions including maritime patrol, search and rescue (SAR), and emergency medical services.
The AW139 was selected by the customer following a European tender launched in August 2014 for a second batch acquisition. The main contract was awarded in 2010 with the AW139 proving to be the best solution to meet the Italian Coast Guard’s requirements.
Delivery of the first batch of AW139s to the Italian Coast Guard started in 2010. According to Leonardo-Finmeccanica, the helicopters feature a wide range of mission equipment including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook, wire strike protection system, search/weather radar, marine band and satellite communication systems.
The helicopters also feature the Forward Looking Infra-Red / Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, an optical proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), full night vision goggle (NVG) capability, new generation Trakka searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts.
Italian State Police, Guardia di Finanza (Customs and Border protection) and the Italian Air Force also use the AW139 and benefit from shared logistics, training and support systems.
The company further said that almost 240 customers from over 70 countries have ordered over 960 AW139 helicopters adding that the helicopter was the best-selling in its class.