Leonardo announced a further expansion of its fleet of AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters in Australia with an order for two aircraft by leading helicopter operator Babcock Australasia (Babcock). The two AW139 platforms ordered by Babcock will carry out a range of HEMS, Search and Rescue and Inter-Hospital Patient Transport missions on behalf of an undisclosed client. The AW139 platforms will be delivered in 2024 and will commence service in the second half of the year, following dedicated mission customisation performed locally.
The new aircraft will feature a wide range of tailored equipment including: 4-axis DAFCS (Digital Automatic Flight Control System) autopilot enhanced with Hover Mode; brand new Avionic Phase 8; TCAS II (Traffic Collision Avoidance System); searchlight; camera; wire cutter; and rescue hoist, among others. This new order will bring the total Babcock AW139 fleet to nine, as they already operate seven AW139s in Australia on behalf of Air Ambulance Victoria and RACQ CapRescue.
Babcock’s Managing Director Aviation & Critical Services Peter Newington said expanding Babcock’s fleet of AW139 helicopters will bring enhanced capability across its contracts. “The AW139 aircraft provides increased speed range and operational capability which is essential for the vast distance and challenging terrains across Australia.”
This latest contract marks a further outstanding success for the best-selling AW139 in Australia, being already the leading model for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) nationwide. More than 130 civil, public utility and military helicopters of various models have been sold by Leonardo in the country to date, supported by unique localized support and MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) services. The AW139 has been chosen by several operators in Australia for a range of roles covering HEMS/SAR, law enforcement, offshore transport and government roles with a fleet of over 60 units today in service. The global EMS/SAR fleet of AW139s used by Babcock has recently set a major operational milestone exceeding 150,000 flight hours.
The AW139 has been sold by Leonardo in several State Government of the country to carry out a range of law enforcement, patrol and surveillance, maritime search and rescue missions and policing operations. This helicopter is ideal for law enforcement, EMS and parapublic missions thanks to its capability, reliability and safety. A fleet of over 60 units performs all of these missions today in Australia in addition to energy support and transport.
With more than 1,130 units in service for over 280 customers in around 90 nations, and over 3.6 million flight hours logged to date since its certification in 2004, the AW139 has also proven extremely successful for rescue and emergency missions. The AW139 delivers outstanding capabilities, technology, and safety to meet stringent requirements from operators for tasks in harsh conditions to maximize effectiveness. This type features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins, and overall performance; the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration; a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety; and up to 1000 certified kits.