AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Swedish Maritime Administration has taken delivery of its first AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter during an official ceremony held at Vergiate plant (Italy) on September 10th.
The aircraft is the first of seven AW139s on order which will be equipped for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in Sweden and the customer is expected to receive the second helicopter shortly and the third aircraft by year end, with all deliveries to be completed within 2014. The Swedish Maritime Administration, the authority responsible for Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services in Sweden, will operate the AW139 helicopters from 5 bases across the country.
Daniele Romiti, CEO, AgustaWestland said “We are delighted to the deliver the first Swedish Maritime Administration’s AW139 as this event marks a major step forward in capability and sets a new important milestone for Sweden’s search and rescue. By selecting one of the most advanced SAR-dedicated rotorcraft systems in our comprehensive product range, Sweden will also benefit from the AgustaWestland’s long standing, well established expertise in rescue operations. We are committed to supporting this leading customer to maximize the operational effectiveness and the unparalleled advantages of the AW139.”
This order continues the success of the AW139 in the European SAR market where its long range and all-weather operational capability are key advantages. The AW139 is also widely used in Northern Europe for passenger transportation to offshore oil and gas installations. The Swedish Maritime Administration’s AW139s are also equipped with a range of dedicated mission systems including the unique Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) allowing flights into known icing conditions and enabling all weather operations, when other types would be confined to the hangar.
More than 580 AW139s are now in service with nearly 750,000 flight hours logged to date performing many roles including SAR, air ambulance, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, law enforcement and military transport missions. More than 200 customers from approximately 60 countries have ordered over 730 AW139 helicopters so far. Approximately 170 AW139s have been sold to customers worldwide so far to perform rescue missions as their primary duty while several additional operators leverage on the outstanding multirole capabilities of the AW139 for rescue missions as their secondary role.
AgustaWestland has over 50 years of experience in the SAR sector. More recently AgustaWestland SAR fleet has increased significantly as operators have deployed both the AW139 and the AW101 to support a wide variety of missions. With the development of three new products – the AW169, the AW189 and the ground-breaking AW609, AgustaWestland is poised to offer an unrivalled product range to support every type of Air Rescue mission.