NORRKOPING, Sweden, 21 Sept. 2013. Swedish Maritime Administration officials in Norrkoping, Sweden, took delivery of the organization’s first AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter from AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company.
The Swedish Maritime Administration’s AW139s are equipped with a range of dedicated mission systems, including the Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) allowing flights into known icing conditions and enabling all weather operations, when other types would be confined to the hangar.
The aircraft is the first of seven AW139s on order which will be equipped for search-and-rescue (SAR) operations in Sweden. Swedish Maritime Administration is expected to receive the second helicopter soon and the third aircraft by year end, with all deliveries to be completed within 2014.
The Swedish Maritime Administration, the authority responsible for Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services in Sweden, will operate the AW139 helicopters from five bases across the country.
“We are delighted to the deliver the first Swedish Maritime Administration’s AW139 as this event marks a major step forward in capability and sets a new important milestone for Sweden’s search and rescue,” says AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti. “By selecting one of the most advanced SAR-dedicated rotorcraft systems in our comprehensive product range, Sweden will also benefit from the AgustaWestland’s long standing, well established expertise in rescue operations. We are committed to supporting this leading customer to maximize the operational effectiveness and the unparalleled advantages of the AW139.”
The AW139’s long-range, all-weather operational capability are key advantages in the European SAR market, says a spokesperson. The AW139 is also widely used in Northern Europe for passenger transportation to offshore oil and gas installations.
More than 580 AW139s are now in service with nearly 750,000 flight hours logged to date performing many roles including SAR, air ambulance, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, law enforcement, and military transport missions.