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Wednesday October 18, 2006 :

Japanese Coast Guard Selects The AgustaWestland AW139 Helicopter For Maritime Search And Rescue Operations

UK / Italy : (AgustaWestland Press Release ) - AgustaWestland, in collaboration with Mitsui Bussan Aerospace is proud to announce that the Japanese Coast Guard has selected the AW139 helicopter to replace their ageing Bell 212’s for deployment at Search and Rescue bases throughout Japan. Three helicopters have been ordered this year as the initial phase of a replacement programme for up to 24 helicopters. The AW139 has been selected as the best helicopter capable of carrying out demanding maritime search and rescue and maritime patrol missions following a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process by Japanese Coast Guard officials. The AW139 will be fully capable of all-weather, day and night operation, and ship-based operations, and will be equipped with state-of-the-art mission equipment including a rescue hoist and a high definition FLIR to maximise operational effectiveness.

Speaking after the announcement, Renzo Lunardi, AgustaWestland’s Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing said “We are delighted by the Japanese Coast Guards decision to buy the AgustaWestland AW139, which further builds on our extensive relationships with Japanese Government agencies and commercial operators. The AW139 is the best performing helicopter in the medium twin engine class and will provide the Japanese Coast Guard with an exceptional aircraft and operational capability.”

The selection of the AW139 builds on recent AgustaWestland successes in the Japanese market with the sale of AW139 and A109 Power helicopters to the Japanese Police and the EH101 to the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force. The Japanese Coast Guard is acknowledged as a first-class and highly experienced Maritime Search and Rescue and maritime patrol organisation worldwide and their choice provides further testimony of the AW139’s performance, versatility and competitiveness.

This contract increases the number of firm orders for the AW139 to over 200, making it the best selling medium-twin helicopter today. By mid-2006 nearly 50 aircraft had been delivered to customers in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The AW139 is a new-generation medium twin-turbine helicopter designed with inherent multi-role capabilities and class leading performance. Applications for the AW139 include Law Enforcement, search and rescue, EMS, offshore, corporate and VIP transport. The AW139 is capable of carrying up to 15 passengers, or a full team of SAR technicians and survivors at high cruise speeds, in the most spacious cabin with the best power reserve of any helicopter in the medium-twin class. State-of-the-art, proven systems on board include two Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboshaft engines with full-authority digital engine controls (FADEC) and the Honeywell Primus Epic® avionics system, featuring a four-axis digital autopilot and four large area flat-panel cockpit displays with the option for night vision goggle compatibility.

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