AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Ministries of Finance and Interior of Bulgaria have ordered two AW109 Power light twin helicopters to meet the latest helicopter requirement for the Bulgarian Border Police. The main mission of the helicopters, which are procured under the Schengen Facility programme funds, is to provide a reliable air surveillance capability on the outer EU borders, since Bulgaria is expected to be a Schengen Zone Member starting from March 2011.
The AW109 Powers will be used to perform border patrol missions. This contract further expands the presence of this type in Bulgaria adding to an AW109 Power already purchased by the Bulgarian Border Police and the AW139 recently bought by this operator confirming the success of the AgustaWestland law enforcement-dedicated product range in the country. Thanks to the AW109 Power´s outstanding features, the Bulgarian Border Police will perform a major step forward in providing policing assistance from the air in the country.
These AW109 Powers will be equipped with an impressive range of state-of-the-art avionics and mission-dedicated equipment also comprising NVG-compatible cockpit, moving map, weather radar, FLIR, digital video downlink and video recorder, mission console, searchlight, emergency floats, rescue hoist, external loudspeaker. The ability to change the interior configuration provides exceptional versatility to support the different law enforcement roles. With a maximum cruise speed of 154 kts (285 Km/h) and a range of 512 nm (948 km), the AW109 Power offers superior rapid reaction capabilities, surveillance area coverage and in-flight endurance. The AW109 Power law enforcement is designed to perform a wide range of security duties to meet the changing demands of law enforcement: patrol, surveillance and tactical operations, state border control, counter terrorism, search and rescue, armed interdiction and other homeland security missions.
Numerous law enforcement and security agencies around the world have chosen the AW109 Power to fulfil their requirements in various countries also including Japan, China, Italy, the USA, Latvia, Chile, Slovenia. Over 470 helicopters have been sold in almost 50 countries worldwide to date to perform several missions also including law enforcement, EMS, VIP/corporate transport, harbour pilot shuttle.