AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace are pleased to announce that two additional AW139 intermediate twin helicopters have been ordered in Japan to perform fire fighting missions. Contracts have been signed by the Fire Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) and Yokohama City respectively.
These latest orders bring to five the number of fire fighting-configured AW139s purchased in Japan in just 18 months continuing the rapidly growing success of this model for this role across the nation. Customers now include Saitama Prefecture, Hiroshima Prefecture, Yokohama City and the Fire Disaster Management Agency which has bought two AW139s.
Second FDMA’s AW139 is expected to be delivered to customer in 2013. The aircraft will be provided with a comprehensive mission-dedicated fit also including weather radar, Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) capable GPS, Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), search light, cargo hook, rescue hoist, ice detector system, snow skis, loudspeaker, belly tank and bambi bucket.
Yokohama City’s AW139 will be operated by its Fire Department. The aircraft will perform fire fighting and disaster relief missions within the Yokohama City area at ordinary times. This helicopter will be shipped from AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia assembly line to Japan by the end of the year with delivery to customer following in March 2013. The Yokohama City Fire Department’s AW139 will also feature weather radar, Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) capable GPS, Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), search light, cargo hook, rescue hoist, main rotor blade high visibility painting, belly tank and FLIR provision.
The AW139 offers superior safety levels in the fire fighting role due to its class leading performance, outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities, system redundancy and superior levels of crashworthiness. These contracts further strengthens the presence of the AW139 in the Japanese helicopter market where around forty helicopters have been ordered by customers that also include the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, Japan Coast Guard, All Nippon Helicopter (NHK), Kansai TV, and Japan National Police Agency.
With orders for more than 630 units in more than 50 countries from almost 170 customers and 500 units delivered and in service, the AW139 is the best selling helicopter in its class in the world. AgustaWestland's success in the Japanese helicopter market continues to grow with strong sales in recent years across its complete commercial product range. AgustaWestland opened a new regional business headquarters in Tokyo in 2008 in support of its growing business in Japan. The helicopter fleet in Japan is also supported by four official service centres which provide maintenance and repair services, confirming AgustaWestland’s commitment to current and future rotorcraft requirements in Japan.