AgustaWestland, December 22, 2009 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Ministries of Finance and Interior of Bulgaria have ordered an AW139 medium twin helicopter to meet the latest Bulgarian Border Police helicopter requirement.
The main mission of the helicopter, procured with Schengen Facility programme funds, is to provide a reliable air surveillance capability on the outer EU borders, since Bulgaria is expected to be a Schengen Zone Member starting from March 2011.
This contract marks the entrance of the AW139 into the Bulgarian market and adds another AgustaWestland helicopter type to the Bulgarian Police helicopter fleet, which already includes the AW109 Power. This latest sale confirms the growing success of AgustaWestland’s range of modern high performance helicopters in the law enforcement market.
The Bulgarian Border Police, thanks to the AW139's outstanding capabilities, will be able to provide a greatly enhanced aerial policing service in the country as well as a comprehensive SAR capability over the sea and in mountainous areas. The Bulgarian Border Police’s AW139 will feature an advanced range of dedicated mission equipment including an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), moving map, weather/search radar, cargo hook, emergency floats, rescue hoist, external loudspeaker, searching light, NVG-compatible cockpit, FLIR, video downlink and mission console.
The AW139 has the largest cabin in its class for the task with large sliding doors to enable easy and quick access and to perform fast roping. The cabin also allows easy configuration changes to meet operational requirements. With a maximum speed of 167 knots (306 kph) and excellent range and endurance the AW139 can be quickly deployed to any crime scene or accident location on the land or sea border. Also, the AW139 is the only medium twin-engine helicopter in production that not only meets, but also exceeds, the latest FAR 29 certification standards for safety.
Numerous law enforcement and security agencies around the world have chosen the AW139 to fulfil their requirements in various countries also including Japan, China, Italy, Estonia just to name a few. Orders for over 440 aircraft have been sold in almost 50 countries worldwide to more than 120 customers so far to perform a number of roles also including law enforcement, EMS/SAR, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, utility and government missions.