HH-139A enters service

March 12, 2012 at 6:19 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
Sign up for our Security newsletter

CASCINA COSTA DI SAMARATE, Italy, March 12 (UPI) -- The first of 10 AgustaWestland HH-139A medium-lift helicopters has entered service with the Italian air force.

The HH-139As will supplement the Air Force's HH-212 and HH-3F helicopters in search-and-rescue operations.

"This significant event is the first major step in support of the service's modernization program, which will also see the HH-101 "Caesar" replacing the HH-3F Pelicans in the Combat SAR role," AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer Bruno Spagnolini said at a handover ceremony.

"The HH-139A will complement the HH-101s while providing a quantum leap forward in operational capabilities and cost effectiveness compared to the present fleet of HH-3Fs and HH-212s."

The HH-139A ordered by Italy features heavy duty landing gear, secure communications, a rescue hoist, search light, wire cutters, nose mounted FLIR and emergency floatation gear.

It has a maximum cruise speed of nearly 190 miles per hour and a range of more than 658 miles when using auxiliary fuel tanks.

The remaining helicopters on order are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories