Italian Air Force search-and-rescue unit receives AgustaWestland helos

Search-and-rescue operations conducted by an Italian Air Force SAR unit near Rome are now being performed with AgustaWestland HH-139A helicopters, the company says.
By Richard Tomkins  |  Sept. 4, 2014 at 5:25 PM
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ROME, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The Italian Air Force's search-and-rescue wing near Rome is now conducting missions using AgustaWestland HH-139A helicopters.

The HH-139As replace HH-3F Pelican aircraft that had been used by the wing for more than 30 years.

"The service introduction of the HH-139A will allow effective search-and-rescue operations using a modern avionics configuration and sophisticated sensors available in all weather conditions and in all environments," AgustaWestland said.

"The helicopter, in fact, was designed to be used for multiple missions. It can be configured in the SAR version for search-and-rescue operations on sea and land, and for emergency medical transport, but it can also be reconfigured, in a short time, for personnel transport, with up to 14 passengers."

The HH-139A, used by government and civilian organizations in 15 countries and by the military in 14 countries, has a maximum speed of 193 miles per hour and a range of 675 miles.

The 15th Stormo of the Italian Air Force's 85th C/SAR is the last Italian SAR unit to receive the aircraft.

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