Is entered in service at the 15 ° Stormo of Cervia (Ravenna) the first of ten helicopters, HH-139A acquired by the Air Force to operate in the near future in the national search and rescue (SAR - Search and Rescue).
The first helicoper, after testing and certification activities in the firm conducted and supervised by the Directorate General for Aeronautical Armaments (Armaereo), was formally accepted and delivered to Air Force in late 2011. During 2012 is to take the other nine specimens, always destined to 15 ° Stormo of Cervia and the Centers Sar employees.
The AW-139-and in the version for the Air Force takes precisely the designation HH-Helicopter Hospital is a twin engine helicopter Mid dall'AgustaWestland product, identified by the Armed Forces as part of the modernization process of the wing structureRotating to complement and gradually replace the existing lines HH-3F and HH-212, in service for over 30 years in the Air Force and the next exit from the service.
The HH-139A is a solution found on the market to continue to effectively provide the service of search and rescue aircraft, both for the institutional tasks of eventual recovery crews and military personnel in distress, both in terms of competition in the community If emergency medical flights, natural disasters and major national events.
The HH-139 is in this sense, a choice that allows not only to maintain the necessary continuity As the oldest structures begin to get out of line, but being a helicopter already tested and employed by other companies and civil national military (Financial Police, Coast Guard, various local authorities) will realize significant operational and logistical synergies in joint and interagency environment.
In an industry as complex as that of the air rescue, which by its nature requires a seamless integration between the civilian and military realities that constitute the task force of rescuers, the ability to share the same technologies represents a significant advantage both in-TRAINING and operational - to develop and enhance the synergy essential to always be ready to intervene when asked, often in difficult conditions, at night, in bad weather, particularly in areas inaccessible and isolated.
The HH-139 is a helicopter that can operate both day and night (NVG capabilities - Night Vision Goggles), in bad weather and in especially difficult, even from non-prepared and / or prepared. The helicopter is able to operate in dusty, snowy areas and marine environment.
The helicopter is extremely versatile, maximum 30 minutes you can change the internal configuration, passing from the air rescue (SAR primary version: 5 passengers + 1 stretcher) to air rescue and emergency health (Medevac version: 2 4-stretchers) or passenger (utility version: up to 14 passengers).
Parallel to the acquisition of machinery started the activity of crew training and specialist personnel of the Armed Forces through courses and activities on the ground simulator training center at AgustaWestland's Sesto Calende and flight activity of the prototype of the same company.
Main technical features
Maximum length of 16.65 m Maximum width (horizontal shelf) 4.22 m Rotor Diameter 13.8 m MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) 6800 kg Maximum cruise speed 165 kts (306 km / h) Propulsion: No. 2 Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C Turboshafts with FADEC
Nice 'copter, in other articles I've read they report that AW101's will be joining them. Would you happen to know if thats part of Italy's existing order or a separate one (it was never made clear in the things I've seen).