Leonardo: six additional AW139 helicopters to the Italian Customs and Border Protection Service
- The contract will increase the Italian Customs and Border Protection Service’s AW139 fleet to eight units, with options for a further six helicopters
- Aircraft to perform maritime surveillance and patrol, maritime and mountain reconnaissance, law enforcement and homeland security
- Almost 240 customers from over 70 countries have ordered over 970 AW139 helicopters
Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced today it has signed a contract to supply six additional AW139 intermediate twin helicopters to the Italian Customs and Border Protection Service (Guardia di Finanza), including integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians. The contract, valued at around €90 million, will increase the customer’s fleet of AW139s to eight units. Deliveries of the six new aircraft are expected to start in mid-2017 and to be completed in 2019. The AW139s will be used to perform a range of missions including maritime surveillance and patrol, maritime and mountain reconnaissance, law enforcement and homeland security. The order also includes options for six additional helicopters, allowing the operator to take a further step towards replacement of its ageing AB412 fleet. The AW139 has been selected by the customer following a European Tender launched in mid-2016. The type demonstrated the best solution to meet the Italian Customs and Border Protection Service’s stringent requirements.
The Italian Customs and Border Protection Service’s new AW139s will feature a wide range of mission equipment which will be managed by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems’ ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system. Sensors managed by ATOS will include the high-performance multi-mode/multi-mission surveillance radar Gabbiano by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems and a high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red system with MTI (Moving Target Indicator) capability fully integrated with the mission console to provide a clear and easily understandable tactical picture to the crew. Communications equipment will include SRT-700 multi-band radios by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems, marine band and satellite communication systems, M428 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems. Other mission and safety equipment that will be fitted includes a full Night Vision Goggle (NVG) cockpit and cabin, new generation searchlight, Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), external fast rope system, wire strike protection system, auxiliary fuel tank, emergency floatation system and external life rafts. The AW139 design incorporates a large spacious cabin for the crew, equipment and survivors accessed by two large sliding doors.