The Rescue and Salvage Bureau of Ministry of Transport (MOT CRS) in China has signed a contract for six AW189 helicopters, which will be utilised across the coastlines of China for maritime SAR operations. The fleet deliveries will be completed by 2023.
The MOT CRS is China's only national maritime professional rescue and salvage force. It undertakes a range of missions, including emergency response to maritime accidents in Chinese waters, rescue of life, ships and property, salvage of sunken ships and wreckages, oil spill clean ups and other rescue missions for maritime transport and development of maritime resources. In addition, MOT CRS performs the obligations of relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements on maritime transport and rescue on behalf of the Chinese Government. MOT CRS currently operates 20 helicopters across eight bases along China’s coastline. The six Leonardo AW189s will be joining MOT CRS in 2023 to extend its SAR capability to a 200nm radius.
Leonardo MD Gian Piero Cutillo says: “We are happy to contribute to this crucial life-saving programme of the Ministry of Transport, increasing its capabilities. The selection of the AW189 will deliver outstanding long range search and rescue in demanding maritime environment conditions. We look forward to working with the operator for the introduction of the new fleet.”
This order confirms Leonardo as the global leading player in the super-medium category and strengthens the company’s position in the Asia-Pacific region. Just before the contract was signed Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau acquired two AW189s in November 2021 to strengthen Beijing Police Aviation’s law enforcement, SAR and fire-fighting capabilities in the Chinese capital’s metropolitan area. The two orders add to a range of other Leonardo helicopter types in China. The growing success of the AW189 confirms the type as the world’s most successful model in the super-medium class through the number of orders, deliveries, applications, customers and flight hours.
Unique features of the AW189 include the main transmission’s capability to run without oil for 50 minutes and a built-in auxiliary power unit. It is available with more than 200 certified kits and is delivered with a comprehensive support and training service package, tailored to meet specific customer requirement to maximise mission effectiveness and safety of operations.