AgustaWestland, March 07, 2011 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce the signing of contracts for eight more AW139 medium twin helicopters in Japan through its distributor Mitsui Bussan Aerospace. The new helicopters will be operated by the Japan Coast Guard and the Japanese Fire Fighting and Disaster Relief Organisation.
With these contracts Mitsui Bussan Aerospace increases the number of AW139 helicopters ordered for the Japanese market to thirty. Ten helicopters are already in service with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the Japan Coast Guard, Air Nippon Helicopter and Kansai TV.
One helicopter for the Japan National Police Agency is currently undergoing local customisation and nineteen helicopters are now on order for the Japan Coast Guard, Japan National Police Agency and the Japanese Fire Fighting and Disaster Relief Organisation.
As a result of this contract the Japan Coast Guard will add seven units to its AW139 helicopter fleet bringing the total number of aircraft ordered to eighteen with six helicopters scheduled to be delivered to Japan throughout the coming year. These latest orders fully endorse the ability of the AW139 to operate in the hostile maritime environment surrounding the coasts of Japan. Last November the Saitama Prefecture placed an order for one AW139 which represented the first AW139 to be utilised for the fire fighting and disaster relief role in Japan. The Saitama AW139 was chosen following an extensive evaluation process by the customer, proving that the market’s latest generation medium twin class helicopter, the AW139, is the most capable in its class.
Giuseppe Orsi, AgustaWestland CEO commented “We were delighted with the recent breakthrough of the AW139 into the Japanese fire fighting market and together with Mitsui Bussan look forward to the continuing success of the AW139 in the Japanese market.” AgustaWestland's success in the Japanese helicopter market continues to grow with strong sales in recent years across its complete 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 three official service centres which provide maintenance and repair services. The AW139 is a new-generation medium twin-turbine helicopter designed with inherent multi-role capabilities and class leading performance. Over 500 aircraft have been sold in approximately 50 countries worldwide to more than 140 customers so far.