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Leonardo Helicopters
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AgustaWestland AW139

BAN's World Gazetteer

Italy
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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VDF adds volume with very versatile 139s
Vigili del Fuoco is part of the Italian Ministry of the Interior and operates crucial firefighting, rescue and medical missions all year. The organisation will be delighted to receive a trio of AW139s, replacing ageing AB412s.
The AW139s will progressively replace the Italian National Fire Corps' AB412s helicopters which have been in service for decades.
Read this story in our February 2019 printed issue.

The Italian National Fire Corps (Vigili del Fuoco) has signed a contract for three AW139 twin engine helicopters. The order, valued at around 45 million euros, also includes integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians, and encompasses an option for 12 additional machines. Deliveries of the three aircraft are expected to start shortly and to be completed in 2019.

More than 816,000 rescue operations occur every year countering fires across Europe, including many in Italy. In order to better face these challenges, Vigili del Fuoco, part of the department of firefighters, public rescue and civil defence within the Ministry of the Interior, is acquiring the AW139s following a competitive tender launched in 2017. Once in service, the helicopters wiil also carry out maritime and mountain SAR, medical rescue, and disaster relief/civil protection.

The AW139s are expected to progressively replace the organisation's AB412s helicopters, which have been in service for decades. The new arrivals will feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red/Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo's HD mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo's Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), NVG capability, new generation Trakka searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows.

The AW139's cabin can be accessed by two sliding doors and its Pratt & Whitney Canada engines offer OEI capability, while the cockpit includes fully integrated avionics, a four-axis digital Automatic Flight Control System with dedicated SAR modes and large flat panel colour displays, reducing pilot workload and allowing the crew to concentrate on the mission.

Other News
 
Greece boosts emergency response with three AW139s
May 28, 2024
The order also includes a comprehensive technical, logistical support and training package. The AW139s will be operated by the Fire Brigade on behalf of the Ministry from a base in Attica.
Mitsui Bussan commits to three AW139s for Japan
March 5, 2024
The AW139 has proven extremely successful in Japan; those in service there have logged in excess of 110,000 flight hours, performing several utility operations, as well as supporting several prefectures and city authorities.
Castle Air adds third AW139 for UK ops
March 2, 2024
Helicopter passenger transport service provider Castle Air adds third AW139 to fleet of 10 Leonardo aircraft for operations in the UK.