Leonardo announced on Oct. 24 that the Government of Queensland in Australia has placed an order for two additional Leonardo AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters.
The aircraft are expected to enter into service by December 2018, performing emergency medical services and search-and-rescue missions over land and sea. The AW139s will replace two older helicopter models as part of a fleet modernization program and reduce maintenance costs.
With world leading capability, performance, ride quality and cabin space, the AW139 has been chosen for its ability to meet the Queensland Government’s operational requirements. These helicopters will add to three AW139s already in service with the Queensland Government, further strengthening the State’s air rescue capabilities and leveraging efficiencies in support, maintenance and training.
The new aircraft will be operated by Queensland Government Air (QGAir), a division of the Queensland Government’s Public Safety Business Agency, and it will be based in Townsville. The aircraft will also serve across all of North Queensland and will be subject to fleet rotation between north and south when needed, in order to ensure the optimum coverage for the State’s community.
This latest order further reinforces the presence of Leonardo in the Australian market with more than 120 helicopters of various models ordered to date for commercial, public utility and military roles. In the last few years the AW139 has proven to be the most successful EMS helicopter in Australia with 30 already in service with various customers.