Leonardo delivers AW139s to Italy Fire Corps
Leonardo Helicopters has struck a deal with Italy’s National Fire Corps for two AW139 helicopters – with the first entering service today.
The Italian Fire Corps has chosen the AW139s to replace its aging AB412 fleet over this year. The announcement was made at the during an official ceremony at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility in Italy.
The helicopters will be used for maritime and mountain SAR, medical rescue, firefighting and disaster relief and civil-protection missions.
Leonardo originally announced the deal back in 2018 for approximately €45 million. The contract also includes integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians, as well as an option for an additional 12 helicopters.
The fire service’s AB412s have been in service for decades and the company will receive a third AW139 later this year as part of the 2018 contract. The company is the biggest emergency operator in the region, flying more than 816,000 rescues and sorties every year.
The first two helicopters will be based in Rome’s Ciampino airport for the National Fire Corps personnel training.
The helicopters will be equipped with external rescue hoist, cargo hook, weather radar and night vision. The AW139 is also in service with Italy’s Guardia di Finanza State Police, Coast Guard and the Italian Air Force.
The AW139 solidified its position as Leonardo’s biggest seller last year. AW139 sales boosted increased revenues in 2018 according to Leonardo’s annual report. The manufacturer remains bullish on the civil aviation market – with the AW139 as one of the most variable aircraft in the medium helicopter market, it has seen solid sales in EMS, VIP and SAR.