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 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.
16.66 m/54 feet 8 inch
4.98 m/16 feet 4 inch
13.8 m/45 feet 3 inch
2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C Turboshafts with FADEC
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)
6,400 kg/14,110 lbs
6,800 kg/14,991 lbs
Up to 15 in light order, or 8 deployable troops in combat order and 2 armed cabin crew for aircraft protection
Up to 4 (with 5 attendants)
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
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
20,000 feet/6,096 m
OEI service ceiling
11,600 feet/3,536 m
573 NM/659 miles/1,061 km
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
According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Italian Air Force unveiled its new aircraft to the media on June 19, on Cervia Air Base. The HH-101A helicopter, which has now been dubbed Caesar, was developed by AgustaWestland according to the specific requirements of the Air Force in order to meet a requirement for a medium-sized rotary wing aircraft to perform a number of roles: Air Support to Special Operations (SAOS), Personnel Recovery (PR), Search and Rescue (SAR), with the additional capability, when required, of Slow Mover Interceptor (SMI).
The aircraft and all its logistic support component, including equipment and materials, are especially suited for deployment, even outside the country, in National Operations Outside Borders (Operazioni Fuori Confini Nazionali – OFCN).
The HH-101A Caesar helicopter is fitted with the latest-generation avionics. Among its main features, the aircraft has high reliability and a great ease of maintainability, as well as excellent survival features, including crash protection. Its performance is the result of modern technology, and in this respect Caesar will have a very long range (including a probe for in-flight refueling), and excellent maneuverability.
The air force’s 15th Wing guarantees, 24 hours 24, 365 days a year, the search and rescue flight crew in difficulty. It also contributes to public service missions such as finding people lost at sea or in the mountains, medical transport of emergency patients at risk of life, and relief of severe trauma. Since its establishment, the crews of the 15th Wing have saved approximately 7,000 people in life-threatening situations.
The AW101 is a flexible multi-mission platform with extensive provisions to conduct a diverse range of primary and secondary roles. The capabilities of the platform allow many of these missions to be conducted simultaneously through the use of modular role equipment and rapid reconfiguration within the cabin.
The AW101 Combat Search and Rescue is capable of performing a wide range of peacetime and conflict roles including:
Casualty / Medical Evacuation;
Medical Treatment / Transfer;
Special Forces Operations;
Internal / External Cargo Movements;
Disaster Response & Relief;
Fire Fighting Support.
AgustaWestland provide an extensive range of additional role kits to further expand the capabilities of the AW101.
22.83 m/ 74 feet 11 inch
6.66 m/ 21 feet 10 inch
18.60 m/ 61 feet 0 inch
Engine Ratings (3 × CT7-8E)
Take-off Power (5 min)
3 × 1,884 kW/3 × 2,527 shp
Intermediate (30 min)
3 × 1,855 kW/3 × 2,488 shp
3 × 1,522 kW/3 × 2,041 shp
OEI (One Engine Inoperative) 2 Minute Rating
2 × 1,880 kW/2 × 2,522 shp
OEI Continuous Rating
2 × 1,855 kW/2 × 2,488 shp
Max Take-off power (2.5 min)
4,161 kW/5,580 shp
Intermediate (30 min)
3,955 kW/5,304 shp
3,715 kW/4,982 shp
Maximum Contingency OEI
3,096 kW/4,152 shp
Maximum Continuous OEI
2,774 kW3,720 shp
Standard Internal Fuel Tanks
5,135 L/1,357 USG
Small USG (US liquid gallon) Auxiliary Fuel Tank
649 L/171 USG
Large USG Auxiliary Fuel Tank
1,389 L/367 USG
Maximum Gross Weight
15,600 kg/34,390 lbs
>5,500 kg/>12,125 lbs
Maximum External Load
4,536 kg/10,000 lbs
Cockpit / Cabin
2 / 25+ crashworthy
All Engines Operating Performance (MGW), ISA
Maximum Cruise Speed (SL – MCP)
150 knots/172.6 mph/277 km/h
Rate of Climb (SL – MCP)
1,680 feet/min/8.5 m/s
4,570 m/15,000 feet
Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE)
3,307 m/10,850 feet
Maximum Range (All Engine Cruise)*
735 NM/846 miles/1,363 km
Maximum Range (Twin Engine Cruise)*
810 NM/932 miles/1,500 km
Maximum Endurance (Twin Engine Cruise)*
6 hours 50 min
ISA+20 Hovering IGE
2,420 m/7,950 feet
ISA+35 Hovering IGE
1,325 m/4,350 feet
One Engine In Operative Performance (MGW), ISA
Forward Rate of Climb (MCP)
800 feet/min/4.06 m/s
Service Ceiling (MCP)
3,108 m/10,200 feet
ISA+20 Service Ceiling (MCP)
2,270 m/7,460 feet
ISA+35 Service Ceiling (MCP)
1,220 m/4,000 feet
* No reserves, standard fuel tanks, 6,000 feet/1,829 m cruise
Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) are pleased to announce the delivery of the first Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM) equipped KHI MCH-101 helicopter to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The KHI MCH-101, a licence built version of the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter, is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A airborne mine hunting system and the Northrop Grumman AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS).
Together these systems provide a complete surface-to-bottom mine detection capability. The AW101/MCH-101 is one of only two helicopter types capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A and the only modern helicopter type.
The development of the AMCM variant of the AW101/MCH-101 has been led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, as prime contractor, with AgustaWestland providing technical support. KHI has responsibility for system integration and design of the AN/AQS-24A carriage, deploy, tow and recovery system that is installed in the cabin.
AgustaWestland in addition to providing technical support also modified the aircraft’s Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) to be able to perform coupled towing patterns with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A.
Following the handover ceremony at Kawasaki’s Gifu factory on 27th February, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force aircraft was delivered to Iwakuni where it will perform evaluation trials with the 51st Experimental Squadron before entering operational service in 2016.
The AN/AQS-24A is the only operationally proven, high speed airborne mine hunting system in the world. It features a high-resolution, side scan sonar for real time, detection, localization and classification of bottom and moored mines at high area coverage rates and a laser line scanner to provide precision optical identification of underwater mines and other objects of interest.
KHI developed the MCH-101, a successor of the current MH-53E minesweeping/transport helicopter, by modifying the EH-101, a utility helicopter developed and manufactured by AgustaWestland based in Italy and the United Kingdom, in order to meet needs specific to Japan. The MCH-101 will be used in the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s minesweeping/transport activities as well as transport support for Antarctic exploration.
The AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System uses pulsed laser light and streak tube receivers housed in an external equipment pod to image the entire near-surface volume potentially containing mines. The ALMDS pod is mounted on the port weapon carrier and data is displayed on the cabin mission console.
The first AMCM configured is the eighth of 13 AW101s that Kawasaki Heavy Industries is building under licence from AgustaWestland for the Japan Maritime Defense Force.
The eight aircraft delivered to date comprise six MCH-101s and two CH-101s. The CH-101s are used to support Japan’s Antarctic research activities.
The AW101 combines the most advanced technologies, safety by design, mission systems and leading-edge manufacturing to provide a proven platform for Heads of State and Very Very Important Person (VVIP) operators.
Featuring the largest cabin in its class, 2.49 m/8.17 feet wide and 1.83 m/6 feet high, passengers are able to walk in the spacious environment, which can be fitted with a range of fixtures and equipment, finished in highest quality materials to customers exacting standards. The aircraft has been proven in the world’s most extreme environments, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
Maximum Take-Off (int./ext. loads): 15,600 kg/34,392 lbs
Engine Rating (3 x GE CT7-8E)
Take-Off power (5 min): 3 x 1,884 kW/3 x 2,527 shp
Intermediate (30 min): 3 x 1,855 kW/3 x 2,488 shp
Maximum Continuous Power: 3 x 1,522 kW/3 x 2,041 shp
OEI* Max Contingency (2 min): 2 x 1,880 kW/2 x 2,522 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Fuel Capacity (VVIP version)
4 cell tanks (self-sealing): 4,094 L/1,081 USgal
Fuel Capacity (Utility version)
5 cell tanks (self-sealing): 5,135 L/1,357 USgal
Overall length: 22.83 m/74.92 feet
Overall height: 6.66 m/21.83 feet
Main rotor diameter: 18.60 m/61.00 feet
Cruise speed: 278 km/h/150 knots
Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE): 3,307 m/10,850 feet
It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that AgustaWestland is offering the AW139M to the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) to fulfil an urgent requirement to replace Russian-made Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ medium transport helicopters.
The AgustaWestland announcement comes on the heels of a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) proposal made on 12 January to sell the Slovak MoD 9 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk medium helicopters for €300 million ($347 million) including spare parts and training via the Foreign Military Sales programme.
«AgustaWestland is ready to make an offer to Slovakia with the AW139M and, of course, associated training and support», AgustaWestland spokesperson Geoff Russell told IHS Jane’s. «The offer will be very competitive if compared to the €300 million Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk offer. We are sure that, with a much lower cost, the AW139M perfectly fits the country’s requirement», Russell added.
Slovak defence minister Martin Glvac said on 12 January that while the MoD is taking the U.S. DoD offer very seriously, it will also consider bids from other helicopter manufacturers. Glvac also made it clear that an ultimate procurement decision would be made by the Slovak government and Slovak Security Council.
According to Jiri Kominek, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, over the next six years the Slovak MoD is intending to replace 14 Mil Mi-17 medium transport helicopters that are rapidly nearing the end of their service life and proving expensive to operate and maintain. Furthermore the ongoing armed conflict in neighbouring Ukraine has prompted the Slovak MoD to not only modernise its armed forces with equipment in service with other NATO countries but also phase-out Russian-made legacy platforms over concerns of the availability and costs of spare parts.
The AW139M is the militarised version of the AW139, a new generation intermediate twin-turbine helicopter setting the standard against which all intermediate twins are now measured. Building on the considerable worldwide success of the AgustaWestland AW139, the AW139M has been developed to meet the specific requirements of military, homeland security and government users.
The AW139M can be used for a wide range of applications including Surveillance, Utility/Troop Transport, Special Forces Insertion/Extraction, MEDEVAC (Medical evacuation)/CASEVAC (Casualty evacuation), SAR (Search and Rescue)/CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue), Command & Control, and Fire Support.
Designed with inherent multi-role capability and flexibility of operation, the AW139M is capable of carrying up to 10 fully equipped troops or 15 passengers at very high speed in its large unobstructed reconfigurable cabin. Additional stowage is accessible both from the cabin and externally. Two large cabin doors enable rapid ingress and egress of troops and personnel. The AW139M provides the best power reserve of any helicopter in the intermediate twin-engine class. It fully complies with the latest stringent FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations)/JAR (Joint Aviation Requirements)/EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) requirements in terms of performance and safety.
Its Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67C turbines together with a state-of-the-art 5-bladed main rotor deliver a high cruise speed, even in demanding conditions and at all weights. The AW139M has outstanding power agility and maneuverability, providing excellent handling qualities in a wide range of operating conditions including «hot and high».
Leading edge technology includes a fully integrated avionics system, 4-axis digital AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) with SAR modes, advanced NVG-compatible (Night Vision) cockpit, inlet particle separators and optional ice protection system that enable safe operation in day, night and all environments.
The AW139M can be tailored to meet specific user requirements utilizing a wide range of mission equipment kits including secure military V/UHF, HF and SATCOM radios, and heavy duty main and nose landing gear for operations from unprepared surfaces. As a result of the new design approach, the AW139M uses fewer components, benefits from integrated avionics and provides easy accessibility to all systems for simplified maintenance tasks.
Maximum take off (MTOW): 6,400/6,800*kg/14,110/14,991*lb
Maximum useful load: 2,650/3,050*kg/5,843/6,724*lb
* An optional MTOW (Internal) of 6,800 kg (14,991 lb) is available as a kit
Engine Rating (2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C – 67C)
Take off power (5 min): 2 × 1,252 kW/2 × 1,679 shp
Maximum continuous power: 2 × 1,142 kW/2 × 1,531 shp
O.E.I.* maximum contingency power: 1,396 kW/1,872 shp
O.E.I.* maximum continuous power: 1,252 kW/1,679 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Take off power (5 min): 1,641 kW/2,200 shp
Maximum continuous power: 1,491 kW/2,000 shp
O.E.I.* maximum contingency power: 1,193 kW/1,600 shp
O.E.I.* maximum continuous power: 1,044 kW/1,400 shp
* One Engine Inoperative
Standard: 1,568 L/414 US gal
Auxiliary: 500 L/132 US gal
Pilots/passengers: 1 – 2/15
Length (rotors turning): 16.66 m/54 ft 08 in
Overall height: 5.17 m/16 ft 12 in
Main rotor diameter: 13.80 m/45 ft 03 in
Performance (ISA*, 6400 kg/14110 lb)
VNE (Velocity Never Exceed): 310 km/h/167 knots
Maximum cruise speed: 306 km/h/165 knots
Rate of climb: >10.9 m/s/>2140 ft/min
Hovering IGE (In Ground Effect): 4,682 m/15,360 ft
Hovering OGE (Out of Ground Effect): 2,478 m/8,130 ft
Service ceiling (MCP**): 6,096 m/20,000 ft
Max range***: 1,250 km/675 NM
Max endurance***: 5 h 56 m
* International Standard Atmosphere
** Maximum Continuous Power
*** With 1,654 kg fuel – no reserve – at 1,829 m/6,000 ft
Engine air particle separators
Closed circuit refueling system
Auxiliary fuel tanks (500 L/132 US gal)
Wire strike protection
Blade folding ship deck mooring
Single/dual rescue hoist (272 kg/600 lb) with utility hoist light
Cargo hook (2200 kg/4850 lb) with monitoring cameras
Self-contained EMS (Emergency Medical Supplies)/MEDEVAC kit
Snow skis/ slump protection pads
Cabin bubble windows
Marking for high visibility main rotor blades
Customising painting scheme with metallic colours
All weather covers
Troop seats and medevac stretchers
Rappelling/ fast roping kit
Armoured crew seats and armoured floor
Wire strike protection system
Defensive Aids Suite (DAS)
IR Suppression system
Self – sealing crashworthy fuel tanks
Cockpit Voice Recorder & Flight Data Recorder (CVR/FDR)
4-axis Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) with SAR modes & FMS SAR patterns
According to Jaroslaw Adamowski, DefenseNews.com correspondent, Poland’s Ministry of Defense has obtained three offers in its much-awaited tender to acquire some 70 new helicopters for the country’s armed forces. The bidders include:
PZL-Swidnik – a Poland-based subsidiary of AgustaWestland.
«The next phase of the tender will be to perform an analysis of the submitted documents by the commission which is carrying out this procedure, and to select the best offer and test the helicopter», Col. Jacek Sonta, the spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, said in a statement.
A consortium led by Airbus Helicopters is offering the EC-725, while Sikorsky wants to supply its S70i Black Hawk, and AgustaWestland is offering the AW-149.
The Airbus Helicopters EC-725 Caracal (also named Super Cougar) is a long-range tactical transport helicopter developed from the Super Puma/Cougar family for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29-seated troops along with 2 crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties, and is similar to the civilian EC-225.
The Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk is an international military version assembled by Sikorsky subsidiary, PZL-Mielec in Poland. It was developed for the U.S. Army in the 1970s, winning a competition to be designated the UH-60 Black Hawk and spawning a large family in United States military service. New and improved versions of the UH-60 have been developed since. Civilian versions and some military versions of this medium transport/utility helicopter are produced under various S-70 model designations.
The AgustaWestland AW149 is a medium-lift military helicopter being developed by AgustaWestland. On 20 June 2011, AgustaWestland announced the AW189, a civilian development of the AW149, for service in 2013.
The new helicopters are designed to replace the Polish military’s Soviet-designed Mil Mi-8, Mi-14 and Mi-17 old helicopters.
Local newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported that the planned deal is estimated to be worth up to 10 billion zloty ($2.8 billion).
According to the ministry, the helicopters are to be supplied in three variants, including:
«Following the signature of an offset deal, it will become possible for us to sign a contract for the delivery of the helicopters. Under the plan, this will happen in the second half of 2015», Sonta said.