AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace are pleased to announce that the Hiroshima Prefecture of Japan has signed a contract for an AW139 medium twin helicopter. This aircraft will be used by the Hiroshima Prefecture Disaster Relief Department to perform fire fighting and disaster relief missions. The helicopter is due to enter operational service in 2012. This AW139 sale follows an order for the same helicopter type by the Saitama Prefecture in November and by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency in April this year and continues the success of the AW139 in the Japanese market for fire fighting and disaster relief applications.
AgustaWestland's Head of Region, NE Asia, Andrew Symonds. said "We are proud to provide the Japanese Government with another AW139 helicopter to support its range of demanding emergency mission requirements. This acquisition brings the number of AW139 helicopters ordered by customers in Japan to thirty, a remarkable number for a helicopter that has only been in service for a short period of time and confirming the AW139's position as the most advanced mission capable helicopter available today in the medium twin class."
The AW139 was chosen by the customer after a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation to ensure it could meet its demanding mission and safety requirements. The Hiroshima Prefecture's AW139 will feature a comprehensive mission-dedicated fit including a "belly tank" fire fighting system, Bambi Bucket, weather radar, search light, cargo hook, rescue hoist, dual rappelling hooks, loudspeaker system and main rotor blade high visibility painting. The advanced avionics systems selected include a nose mounted FLIR camera and downlink transmission (air-to-ground) capability, which will be installed in Japan. In addition to the state of the art Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) capable GPS and Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), the AW139 offers superior safety levels in the fire fighting role due to its class leading performance, outstanding one engine inoperative capabilities, system redundancy and superior levels of crashworthiness.
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