AgustaWestland, February 25, 2014 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace are pleased to announce that Yamagata Prefecture Firefighting and Disaster Prevention Agency has chosen the AW139 intermediate twin helicopter to meet its operational requirement following a tender process.
The AW139 helicopter is expected to enter service in the second quarter of 2015, replacing an ageing model.
Andrew Symonds, President, AgustaWestland Japan said “The growing success experienced by the AW139 in Japan for so many roles, particularly for public utility applications, confirms that the aircraft is ideal for meeting the many varied operational requirements of agencies throughout the nation. We are convinced the AW139 is well positioned for further success in this important and growing market for AgustaWestland.”
Yamagata Prefecture Firefighting and Disaster Prevention Agency’s AW139 will be fitted with state-of-the-art equipment comprising Bambi bucket, Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), weather radar, FLIR, Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, search light, cargo hook, rescue hoist, snow skids, wire strike protection system and external loudspeakers, to allow it to perform a wide variety of missions.
The AW139 has proven extremely successful in Japan performing a number of roles including search and rescue and coast guard duties, law enforcement, firefighting, disaster relief and electronic news gathering. The Japan Coast Guard has placed orders for 18 AW139s so far. The AW139 has also become the platform of choice for public utility roles such as law enforcement, firefighting and disaster relief with the Japan National Police Agency, Tokyo Metropolitan Police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency as well as several prefectures and city authorities. All Nippon Helicopter (NHK) and Kansai TV have chosen the AW139 to carry out Electronic News Gathering (ENG) missions across the nation.
The only new generation helicopter in its weight class, the AW139 sets new standards of performance in its category with a maximum cruise speed of 165 knots (306 km/h) and a maximum range in excess of 570 nm (1060 km) with auxiliary fuel. The aircraft has outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities, even in the hot and high environmental conditions. The AW139 also features the largest cabin in its category.
The AW139, together with the next generation AW169 and AW189 models, is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features, as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne categories.
With orders for over 750 aircraft in 60 countries from more than 200 customers and over 620 aircraft already in service, the AW139 is the best-selling medium twin helicopter 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’s regional business headquarters, based in Tokyo, has been supporting company’s growing business in Japan since 2008. The helicopter fleet in Japan is also supported by four official service centers which provide maintenance and repair services, confirming AgustaWestland’s commitment to current and future rotorcraft requirements in Japan.