The Maltese Falcon

AgustaWestland announced on July 8 that the Armed Forces of Malta have placed an order for their third AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopter. The aircraft will primarily be used to perform maritime border control missions.

The Armed Forces of Malta, which already operate two AW139s for SAR and maritime surveillance, have ordered a third, with financial assistance from the European Union
The Armed Forces of Malta, which already operate two AW139s for SAR and maritime surveillance, have ordered a third, with financial assistance from the European Union

The best-in-class AW139 was selected following an extensive evaluation process thanks to its unmatched capability, performance and value for money characteristics. The overall fleet of three aircraft and a significant training package for pilots and technicians is part of the ongoing plan to strengthen the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Malta, who benefit from the European Borders Fund and Internal Security Fund Programmes. The introduction into service of the best and most modern helicopter for the task in its category is a major boost to national security and rescue operations.

The AW139 is fitted with a state-of-the-art equipment package for maritime patrol and Search And Rescue (SAR) missions that includes a high-definition Forward-Looking Infrared imaging (FLIR) system, search/weather radar, cabin mission console, naval transponder, search light, satellite communication (SATCOM) system, a 4-axis autopilot with SAR modes, external rescue hoist and four bag floatation system. This state of the art intermediate twin-engine helicopter features the largest cabin in its category for greater mission flexibility and comfort. Litter layout options range from two to four in a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) configuration.

Advanced technology and impressive One Engine Inoperative (OEI) performance make the AW139 the intermediate twin-engine helicopter of choice. Two powerful PT6-67C turboshaft engines with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) minimize pilot workload and offer high power margins for maximum safety. Over 900 AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters have been sold to more than 220 customers in over 70 countries worldwide. More than 730 AW139s have been delivered.

The AW139 has been selected by and is now performing maritime/border patrol missions with a large number of operators in countries such as Italy, UK, USA, Spain, Estonia, Japan, Republic of Korea and Malaysia to name a few. The AW139, as the market leader in its class, is also widely used for offshore transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, emergency medical transport, VIP transport and firefighting.

The AW139 helicopter is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW169 and AW189. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of these models in areas such as training, maintenance and support.

External Dimensions
External Dimensions



Overall length* 16.66 m/54 feet 8 inch
Overall height* 4.98 m/16 feet 4 inch
Rotor diameter 13.8 m/45 feet 3 inch
Powerplant 2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C Turboshafts with FADEC
Engine Rating
All Engines Operative (AEO) Take off power 2 × 1,252 kW/2 × 1,679 shp
OEI 2.5 min contingency power 1,396 kW/1,872 shp
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
Internal load** 6,400 kg/14,110 lbs
External Load 6,800 kg/14,991 lbs
Crew 1-2
Passenger seating Up to 15 in light order, or 8 deployable troops in combat order and 2 armed cabin crew for aircraft protection
Stretchers Up to 4 (with 5 attendants)
Baggage compartment 3.4 m3/120 feet3
Performance: International Standard Atmosphere (ISA); Sea Level (S.L.); Maximum Gross Weight (MGW)
Velocity Never Exceed (VNE); Indicated Air Speed (IAS) 167 knots/192 mph/310 km/h
Cruise Speed 165 knots/190 mph/306 km/h
Rate of Climb 2,145 feet/min/10.9 m/s
Hovering Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) 8,130 feet/2,478 m
Service Ceiling 20,000 feet/6,096 m
OEI service ceiling 11,600 feet/3,536 m
Maximum range*** 573 NM/659 miles/1,061 km
Maximum endurance*** 5 h 13 min

* Rotors turning

** An optional MTOW (internal) of 6,800 kg/14,991 lbs is available as kit

*** No reserve, with Auxiliary fuel


The AW139M is the militarized version of the AW139


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