Leonardo adds firefighting helicopters to Japan


Leonardo AW139 firefighting

Leonardo has grown its market share in the Japanese helicopter market by securing orders for AW169, AW139 and AW189 helicopters in firefighting configuration.

Leonardo and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, the Japanese distributor for the AW169 and AW139 types, signed contracts with the Yamaguchi Prefecture Fire Fighting and Disaster Relief Agency for one AW169. This is the third AW169 to be sold in Japan and the first for firefighting.

Both companies also signed deals with the Shizuoka and Fukushima Prefecture Fire Fighting and Disaster Relief Agencies for one AW139 each. The two AW139s will add to a fleet of more than 50 other units in all market segments and reinforce the presence of this model in the firefighting market.

The contract with the Tokyo Fire Department for the AW189 marks the debut of Leonardo’s new generation helicopter in Japan.

All aircraft are expected to enter service between spring 2019 and spring 2020, replacing older helicopter types.


The new helicopters will feature standard firefighting equipment including a bambi bucket, rescue hoist and searchlight as well as customer specific equipment.

The AW139 for the Shizuoka Prefecture Fire Fighting & Disaster Relief Agency will carry out rescue operations around Mount Fuji and will also be equipped with a belly tank and a gyro-stabilized camera system with microwave downlink (Heli-TV).

The AW139 for Fukushima Prefecture is also equipped with snow skis while the Yamaguchi Prefecture Fire Fighting & Disaster Relief agency AW169 features a full glass cockpit with four axis autopilot and the Heli-TV system.

The Tokyo Fire Department AW189 features 19 seats, dual hoist and extended range auxiliary fuel tank for long range missions to remote islands.