BAN's World GazetteerItaly
The Italian coastguard says its first operational AW139 medium twin will prove an asset to operations. "It will perform a range of missions including maritime patrol, SAR and emergency medical services," the coastguard says.
It adds: "Three more AW139s will be delivered in the coming months. The helicopter has outstanding capabilities and we expect the effectiveness of our patrols will be greatly enhanced."
The coastguard says that factors in its decision included the AW139's equipment with a wide range of SAR equipment including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook, wire strike protection system, search/weather radar, FLIR/LLTV system, NVG compatible cockpit, night sun searchlight, external loudspeaker system, emergency flotation system and external life rafts.
It adds: "The AW139 design incorporates a large spacious cabin accessed by two sliding doors, powerful engines and good performance and safety. Excellent one engine inoperative capability ensures the aircraft can safely accomplish the most demanding rescue missions."
There are other advantages. The coastguard says: "The AW139 has brought many operational advan-tages. The cockpit features the latest technology including a Honeywell Primus Epic fully integrated avionics system, a four-axis digital automatic flight control system and large flat panel colour displays. These reduce pilot workload and enable the crew to concentrate on rescue."