The five Italian National Fire Corps (Vigili del Fuoco, part of Ministry of the Interior) orders, valued over €75 million, come following Italy’s plans to replace the AB412 helicopters, which are currently in use for disaster relief, firefighting and airborne rescue services. The AW139 has also been enlisted by Italy’s Guardia di Finanzia, State Police, Coast Guard and Air Force, in addition to several emergency medical service operators, and as such, these services in Italy can also benefit from shared logistics, training and support systems.
This latest order from the National Fire Corps brings the total number of AW139s ordered by the Italian Government to 61.
Two of initial three helicopters have already been delivered, and the five new helicopters are expected to be delivered in June 2020. The fleet modernisation programme also includes an option for seven additional helicopters which could be added to the eight already ordered.
This news comes just after many other countries, including Malaysia, have chosen to adopt the AW139 for search and rescue and helicopter emergency medical services. And what’s more, Leonardo also announced a new AW189 helicopter FFS Simulator developed in collaboration with PWNE, which will extend the Training Service Agreement in Malaysia, complete with FFS services.
In addition, Leonardo has announced that an AW139 Level D FFS is to be installed in a dedicated facility at Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport and operated by Suzuyo’s subsidiary Shizuoka Air Commuter Corporation (SACC) – Leonardo and Suzuyo & Co. Ltd. (Suzuyo) of Japan announced the signing of a Letter of Intent for the purchase of the AW139 Level D FFS for the AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter at the Paris Air Show.
In other news, the appointment of SPECTO Aerospace as a Blade Repair Centre for the AW109 light twin and the AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter main and tail rotor blades in Europe (including Russia) follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Amsterdam in late 2018, allowing SPECTO Aerospace to join a network of four other Blade Repair Centres based in UAE, UK, US and Singapore. Headquartered at Amsterdam Lelystad-Airport, The Netherlands, SPECTO Aerospace has more than 15 years of experience in maintenance of composite components. SPECTO’s facility at the Royal Netherlands Air Force base in Woensdrecht is specialised in the repair of helicopter rotor blades for the civil and military market.