Leonardo has delivered a new HH-139B twin-engine helicopter to the Italian Air Force during an acceptance ceremony at its facility in Vergiate, Italy. The Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini and Italian Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Alberto Rosso attended the ceremony. Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo General Manager Lucio Valerio Cioffi, and Leonardo Helicopters’ MD Gian Piero Cutillo were also in attendance.
“We are proud to provide our capability so that the Italian Air Force’s major duties such as supporting the national community and homeland security are guaranteed,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo.
The HH-139B is a dedicated Air Force variant of the AW139 type. The aircraft will be used for a wide range of missions including Search and Rescue (SAR), fire-fighting, and slow mover intercept.
Over 1,200 AW139s have been sold to more than 280 customers in over 70 countries, including more than 80 for Italian government operators (Air Force, Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard, National Firefighting Department and Carabinieri), plus emergency medical service operators.
This helicopter model benefits from advanced digital technology solutions for both flight and missions as well as training (pilots and maintenance technicians) and support.
The helicopter’s state-of-the-art satellite navigation and synthetic vision system has 3D representations of the external environment on cockpit displays even in poor visibility conditions. It can assist the crew during SAR and hoisting in harsh environmental and weather conditions with advanced collision avoidance and proximity systems, mission sensors, and an automatic flight control system.
The AW139 also features modern predictive maintenance and diagnostics solutions allowing accurate, rapid assessment and data processing on the health and usage of aircraft components, allowing for more efficient maintenance and therefore increased operational effectiveness and safety.
Both flight and maintenance training are extensively delivered in virtual environments and simulation. Crews can therefore maximise their ability to use equipment and leverage the best performance of the product during missions. Maintenance technicians can also leverage virtual training, increasing technical assistance quality and reliability.
“National sovereignty, from a military and technological point of view, is preserved today also thanks to this level of excellence and to the synergies among institutions, defence and industry,” said Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini.
“The HH-139B is an iconic product fully representative of national industry’s technology excellence and international competitiveness.”