Leonardo handed over an HH-139B helicopter to Italian Minister of Defence, Lorenzo Guerini and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Alberto Rosso during a visit to the Leonardo plant at Vergiate on 25 June.
A dedicated air force variant of the AW139, the HH-139B will be used for a wide range of missions, including search and rescue (SAR), fire-fighting, and interception of slow-moving targets.
“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. Italy has prime industrial capabilities, and Leonardo symbolises a nation, which can leverage a top world-class aerospace, defence and security industry,” commented Minister Guerini.
Leonardo CEO, Alessandro Profumo, added “The HH-139B is an iconic product, fully representative of national industry’s technology excellence and international competitiveness. The facility in Vergiate - the largest Leonardo helicopter final assembly line, with more than 1,000 employees - shows outstanding rotorcraft capabilities in terms of products, manufacturing processes, and professional skills, and is able to maintain Leonardo and Italy at the forefront of innovation in an increasingly strategic and highly competitive sector.”
Over 1,200 AW139s have been sold to more than 280 customers in over 70 countries, including more than 80 for Italian government operators and emergency medical service operators. The aircraft benefits from advanced digital technology solutions, for operations, support and training. Its state-of-the-art satellite navigation and synthetic vision system ports 3D representations of the external environment to cockpit displays, even in poor visibility conditions. It also features advanced collision avoidance and proximity systems, mission sensors and an automatic flight control system, able to assist the crew during SAR and hoisting in harsh environmental and weather conditions.
The AW139 features modern predictive maintenance and diagnostic solutions, allowing accurate, rapid assessment and data processing on the health and usage state of aircraft components. This allows for more efficient maintenance, increasing operational effectiveness and safety. Both flight and maintenance training available in virtual environments and simulation. Crews can therefore maximise their ability to use equipment and leverage the best mission performance. Maintenance technicians can leverage virtual training, thereby increasing the quality and reliability of what they deliver. All these capabilities bring greater safety to operations.