Leonardo has secured an order for eight more AW139 twin-engine helicopters for delivery to the rescue and border patrol services in Italy. The latest sales were announced by the manufacturer on December 11. Combined, the contracts are valued at approximately €112m.
The Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) has signed a contract for two AW139s to perform search and rescue (SAR) missions, with deliveries to be completed by the end of 2018, while the Servizio Aereo della Guardia di Finanza (GdF, Customs Police Air Service) 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. The Italian Customs Police Air 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 Police Air 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.