Leonardo has announced a further expansion of its fleet of AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters in Australia with an order for three aircraft as part of Western Australia’s Emergency Rescue Helicopter Service (ERHS) fleet modernisation effort to provide enhanced airborne capabilities.
The helicopters will be supplied by helicopter operator CHC Australia to carry out a range of HEMS, Search and Rescue and Inter-Hospital Patient Transport missions from the Jandakot and Bunbury Airports on behalf of the ERHS.
The AW139s will be delivered from Leonardo’s Vergiate final assembly line facility in Italy in early 2023 and will enter service in Western Australia later in the year, following dedicated mission customisation performed locally.
The new aircraft will feature a wide range of tailored equipment including, among others, 4-axis DAFCS (Digital Automatic Flight Control System) autopilot enhanced with Hover Mode, TCAS II (Traffic Collision Avoidance System), searchlight, camera, wire cutter and rescue hoist. The special HEMS interior and the advanced mission console will be installed in Australia.
According to Leonardo, the AW139 is the 'leading model' for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) nationwide. More than 130 civil, public utility and military helicopters of various models have been sold by Leonardo in the country to date, supported by localised support and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) services.