AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Qatar Armed Forces has taken delivery of its first AW139 medium twin helicopter during an official ceremony held yesterday at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant in Italy, in the presence of Qatar Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hamad Bin Ali Al Attiyah and Qatar Emiri Air Force Chief of Staff General Mubarak Al-Khayarin. The aircraft will be operated by the Qatar Emiri Air Force supporting various government agencies to perform a range of roles including utility, troop transport, search and rescue, border patrol, special forces operations, law enforcement and homeland security.
A contract for 18 units was signed in August 2008 which also included crew training and an initial spares package. The Qatar Armed Forces becomes the third operator of military-configured AW139 helicopters following the Irish Air Corps and UAE Armed Forces.
Giuseppe Orsi, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “It gives us great pleasure to celebrate the handover of the first AW139 to such an important customer ahead of the planned delivery schedule. The military configured AW139 has been developed to meet the Qatar Armed Forces’ demanding requirements and I am confident it will exceed their operational expectations in service.“
Designed to be easily and quickly converted between roles, the AW139 is perfectly suited for military and public security applications. The AW139 cabin can be configured to carry 8 to 15 troops in its spacious eight cubic metre cabin. Large sliding cabin doors allow both troops and equipment to be loaded and unloaded easily and quickly.
The AW139 sets new standards of performance in its class for military applications with a maximum cruise speed of 165 knots (306 km/h) and a maximum range in excess of 570 nm (1060 km) with auxiliary fuel. The aircraft has outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities even in the hot an high environmental conditions. The advanced integrated cockpit with state-of-the-art technology minimises pilot workload allowing the crew to concentrate on mission objectives. For military missions the AW139 features dedicated equipment to meet a range of general and specialist roles.
Around 440 orders have been placed by over 120 customers from almost 50 countries to date, making it the benchmark helicopter in the medium twin category for a number of tasks. Designed with inherent multi-role capability and flexibility of operation, the AW139 can perform many roles including law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport and military utility missions.