AgustaWestland has been awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for its AW189 search and rescue (SAR) variant, paving the way for delivery of aircraft for the UK's SAR program. The range of kits for SAR missions now EASA certified for the AW189 include the following: a dual rescue hoist with camera system; search radar; high definition FLIR system; searchlight; increased capacity fuel system; Flight Management System (FMS) & Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) SAR modes; cabin mission console; and various additional communication systems. The AW189 SAR variant has also been certified with a maximum all up mass of 18,959 lbs. (8,600 kg) — an increase of 661 lbs. (300 kg) — to provide increased payload.
More than 130 AW189s, including framework contracts and options, have been ordered. Following EASA certification in early 2014, aircraft have already been delivered to customers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East such as Bristow, Weststar Aviation Services, LCI, Gulf Helicopters and Bel Air.
AgustaWestland has also received an order from the Carabineros de Chile (Chilean National Police Force) for an AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter. The aircraft, scheduled for delivery in early 2015, will support a wide range of missions including public order and safety, crime control, counterterrorism, drug control and border security across the nation, search and rescue, and transport. The exceptional performance of the AW139, especially at high altitudes and temperatures, will enhance the Carabineros’ mission capabilities.
Photo courtesy of AgustaWestland
This order marks the entrance of the AW139 into the Chilean helicopter market and an expansion of the Carabineros de Chile’s AgustaWestland helicopter fleet, which includes five AW109 Power light twin helicopters that first entered service in 2008.
The AW139 is used for homeland security, law enforcement and public utility missions in nations including Chile, Brazil, USA, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Oman, UAE, and China. It has also been successful in other applications such as offshore transport, EMS/SAR, executive/private and passenger transport, government and military roles.
Related: SAR News, Police News, EASA News