Italian defence heavyweight Leonardo announced that six of the company’s AW139 twin-engine helicopter will support the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation (UKSAR2G) programme.
The six helicopters will be procured by Bristow Group to be leased to the MCA to support the Agency’s operations.
Deliveries of the aircraft is expected to kick-start in 2023 with a 2024 completion date. The six rotorcraft will add to the current fleet of nine AW189 super medium twin-engine SAR helicopters as part of the UKSAR2G programme.
Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, Gian Piero Cutillo said: “This latest step supporting our key partner Bristow to meet major users’ needs is further testament to the outstanding capabilities of our best-selling AW139 as the aircraft of choice in its category for SAR among prime operators and countries. It perfectly complements the medium to long range SAR capabilities of the AW189 delivering unparalleled combined capabilities for the task. We’re proud to continue to provide our contribution to the MCA partnership with this type, its technology and support solutions will benefit the served communities in UK.”
These latest AW139s will feature the very latest in product enhancement, technology and mission capability for the task including a 7-ton MTOW (Maximum Take-Off Weight), Honeywell Primus Epic integrated avionics Phase 8, an advanced Synthetic Vision System (SVS), improved 2D maps and wireless data loading, which will deliver even greater all-weather capabilities and mission effectiveness.
These platforms will also feature a Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) to deliver even greater mission capability in demanding weather conditions.
With more than 1,100 units in service with over 280 customers in around 90 nations and over 3.3 million flight hours logged to date since its certification in 2004, the AW139 has been proven extremely successful for rescue and emergency missions. Almost 400 aircraft, covering military, para-public and civil operators, carry out emergency and disaster relief operations worldwide and have amassed more than 900,000 flight hours to date. –shp/ldo/aaa (Image: Leonardo)