Greece to Boost Emergency Response Capabilities With Three A
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This news is classified in: Defense Contracts Helicopters

May 24, 2024

Greece to Boost Emergency Response Capabilities With Three AW139 Helicopters

Contract signed by the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection for healthcare missions, disaster relief operations and transportation of the crisis management teams  

 

The Hellenic Ministry for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection is enhancing its emergency response capabilities by introducing three Leonardo AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. Under the recently signed contract, the new aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2026 with two units dedicated to healthcare missions and disaster relief and one unit to be used for transportation of the crisis management teams. The order also includes a comprehensive technical, logistical support, and training package. The AW139s will be operated by the Fire Brigade on behalf of the Ministry from a base in Attica.

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The selection of the AW139 is further to a thorough and rigorous tendering process, carried out by the Project Preparation Facility of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), demonstrating the best value-for-money offer thanks to the combination of performance, mission capabilities, modern design and versatility. This emergency response helicopter programme was funded through the European Union – NextGenerationEU under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan "Greece 2.0". The programme will enable Greece to enhance the level of effective disaster relief operations across the nation, which face the unique operational challenges posed by the complex topography and environmental conditions of the Hellenic territory that span the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to the peaks of Mount Olympus. The selection of the AW139 confirms the Greek Government’s confidence in Leonardo’s rotorcraft technology and capabilities in the broader rescue tasks domain, adding to two AW109 Trekker light twins already in service supporting the national healthcare service.
 
The AW139s will feature a flexible and modular cabin layout able to host a mix of up to five passengers and up to two stretchers. The cabin can easily and quickly be converted providing the possibility of up to 14 passengers, if required, for the deployment of the incident management team.

With over 1400 units on order, more than 1200 units already in service and over 4 million flight hours logged to date with more than 300 operators worldwide in over 90 countries, the AW139 has demonstrated its ability to meet all requirements in every market application such as Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), Combat SAR (CSAR), Law Enforcement, firefighting, disaster relief, Energy, Corporate - VIP. The AW139 has become the benchmark for Emergency Services Operations. For overall rescue duties (spanning from emergency medical services, disaster relief, maritime and land/mountain SAR, etc), more than 1 million flight hours have been logged nowadays among the almost 500 AW139 helicopters in service, carrying out during day and night emergency response operations in all continents, especially in Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries. In the case of AW139, the interoperability to manage challenging operations in time of crisis has been fully demonstrated several times: Italy’s Air Force, Coast Guard, Guardia di Finanza, Police, Fire Brigade, all of them employing AW139s in their fleets, jointly or collaborating with other nations using the same helicopter model like Spain, Malta and Cyprus. Over 220 Units are in operation in the Mediterranean Area with more than 40 Operators.of clouds, influences the amount of far-infrared radiation that escapes into space from Earth’s poles. Data collected from PREFIRE will give researchers information on where and when far-infrared energy radiates from the Arctic and Antarctic environments into space.

“The PREFIRE CubeSats may be small, but they’re going to close a big gap in our knowledge about Earth’s energy budget,” said Laurie Leshin, director, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Their observations will help us understand the fundamentals of Earth’s heat balance, allowing us to better predict how our ice, seas, and weather will change in the face of global warming.”

The mission’s CubeSats each carry an instrument called a thermal infrared spectrometer, which use specially shaped mirrors and sensors to measure infrared wavelengths. Miniaturizing the instruments to fit on CubeSats necessitated downsizing some parts while scaling up other components.

“Our planet is changing quickly, and in places like the Arctic, in ways that people have never experienced before,” said Tristan L’Ecuyer, PREFIRE’s principal investigator, University of Wisconsin, Madison. “NASA’s PREFIRE will give us new measurements of the far-infrared wavelengths being emitted from Earth’s poles, which we can use to improve climate and weather models and help people around the world deal with the consequences of climate change.”

NASA’s Launch Services Program, based out of the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, in partnership with NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program is providing the launch service as part of the agency’s Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) launch services contract.

The PREFIRE mission was jointly developed by NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. NASA JPL manages the mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate and provided the spectrometers. Blue Canyon Technologies built the CubeSats and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will process the data the instruments collect. The launch services provider is Rocket Lab USA Inc. of Long Beach, California.



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