South Korean Government Orders an AW139 Fire Fighting Helicopter
AgustaWestland, March 06, 2011 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and United Industries International are pleased to announce that the Public Procurement Authority of the Republic of Korea have selected the AW139 for the Incheon Fire Fighting Department. The helicopter will perform fire fighting, emergency medical service, air rescue and transport missions and is scheduled to go into service in 2012. The Incheon Fire Fighting Department AW139 will perform fire fighting duties as its primary task and will be delivered with the capability to operate with a bambi bucket or a belly tank fire fighting system. The helicopter will also be equipped with a rescue hoist and a cabin configuration to transport 12 passengers.
Speaking after the contract award, Giacomo Saponaro, Senior Vice President International Business Unit, AgustaWestland said “We are delighted with the continuing success of the AW139 in South Korea and look forward to the helicopter becoming the Government’s helicopter of choice for fire fighting and law enforcement requirements.” The AW139 was chosen following a extensive evaluation process by the customer, proving that the market’s latest generation medium twin class helicopter is capable of meeting the stringent mission and safety requirements of the operator. The Incheon Fire Fighting Department AW139 will feature a comprehensive mission fit including belly tank fire fighting system, 4-axis DAFCS enhanced with hover mode, Enhance Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), emergency flotation system, search light, cargo hook, rescue hoist and external loudspeaker. The AW139 offers superior safety levels for the role and provides outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities, systems redundancy, high crashworthiness levels for the airframe and seats. The main rotor blades will sport a high visibility paint scheme.
This latest contract further strengthens the presence of the AW139 in the Korean market and represents the eighth order for the AW139 following those placed by Korea Coast Guard, Samsung, Gangwon Fire Fighting Department and Gyeonggi Fire Fighting Department. With orders for over 500 units in around 50 countries by more than 140 customers, the AW139 is the best selling medium twin helicopter in the world market. A number of leading fire fighting, EMS and disaster relief operators have chosen or are already operating the type for these tasks in several countries such as the USA, Canada, Italy, Japan, China, Malaysia and Australia to name a few.
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