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In a move to enhance its emergency multirole airborne capabilities to more effectively counter the ever increasing risks of firefighting duties, the Italian National Fire Corps (Vigili del Fuoco - VDF) signed a contract for the supply of three AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The order, valued at around €45 million, also includes integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians, and encompasses an option for 12 additional helicopters. Deliveries of the three new aircraft are expected to start shortly and to be completed in 2019.

At the same time the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is set to introduce a fifth AW139 helicopter into its fleet. The aircraft is expected to be delivered from Leonardo’s Philadelphia, PA/USA facility in Spring 2019 and will be used to perform a range of missions primarily including fire suppression, emergency medical service (EMS) and search and rescue (SAR). The LAFD protects more than four million people in America’s second largest city. It is responsible for 400+ square-miles, 106 stations, and over 3,200 firefighters. LAFD Air Operations’ mission includes fire suppression, air ambulance transport, hoist rescues, reconnaissance and mapping. Their helicopter fleet is housed at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY).

 

The 7t AW139s of the VDF are expected to progressively replace their AB412s helicopters which have been in service for decades. The new aircraft of the VDF will feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red/Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo’s high definition mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo’s Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) capability, new generation TRAKKA searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows. (Photo: Leornardo)
The 7t AW139s of the VDF are expected to progressively replace their AB412s helicopters which have been in service for decades. The new aircraft of the VDF will feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red/Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo’s high definition mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo’s Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) capability, new generation TRAKKA searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows. (Photo: Leornardo)

 

 

The existing fleet of four LAFD-owned multirole AW139s have a combined 7,000+ flight hours since the first helicopter entered service in 2008, helping respond to over 700 incidents annually. AW139s have proved their workhorse reliability and have demonstrated a crucial piece of equipment for suppressing wildfires throughout Southern California. Features customized for the LAFD AW139 include, among others, search light, rescue hoist, advanced water tank for fire suppression, wire-cutter and modular cabin interior. (Photo: Leornardo)
The existing fleet of four LAFD-owned multirole AW139s have a combined 7,000+ flight hours since the first helicopter entered service in 2008, helping respond to over 700 incidents annually. AW139s have proved their workhorse reliability and have demonstrated a crucial piece of equipment for suppressing wildfires throughout Southern California. Features customized for the LAFD AW139 include, among others, search light, rescue hoist, advanced water tank for fire suppression, wire-cutter and modular cabin interior. (Photo: Leornardo)

 

 

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