The last couple of days have been nice to AgustaWestland’s medium lift AW139 helicopter. On 10 April 2014 Malta ordered another chopper of the type, followed by the Japanese National Police on 15 April. Moreover the 40 AW139s operated by CHC Helicopter – specialized in offshore and SAR – reached the major operational milestone of 100,000 flight hours, with the fleet leader achieving over 9,000 flight hours in less than eight years.
The Armed Forces of Malta took up the earlier option for a second AW139. The helicopter will be used to conduct mainly maritime border control missions. The delivery of the second AW139 is scheduled for June 2015, while the first helicopter was delivered in July 2014. The Maltese AW139s will be equipped with a high-definition FLIR system, search/weather radar, cabin mission console, naval transponder, search light, satellite communication system, a 4-axis autopilot with SAR modes, external rescue hoist and a four bag floatation system. Litter layout options range from two to four in a medical evacuation configuration. Two PT6-67A turboshaft with so-called FADEC technology power the Maltese AW139s.
The Japan National Police Agency (JNPA) ordered another AW139 to be operated in the Kagoshima Prefecture. The AW139 helicopter will replace an ageing Bell 412 model and will enter service in 2015. This chopper has been ordered with a law enforcement configuration that includes rescue hoist, search light, auxiliary tank and dedicated avionic systems such as an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System and Enhanced Vision System. The number of AgustaWestland helicopters in Japanese law enforcement is now more than 40.
The AW139 has a maximum cruise speed of 165 knots (306 kmh) and a maximum range of roughly 570 nautical miles (1060 km) with auxiliary fuel. AgustaWestland so far received orders for over 750 of these rotary craft, from 200 customers in 60 countries. More than 620 AW139s are already in service.