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Leonardo has announced that the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) has purchased an AgustaWestland AW169 light intermediate helicopter.
The aircraft, which is planned to be delivered in early 2019, will be provided with a dedicated configuration to support Chinese polar scientific exploration tasks and perform a range of roles including passenger transport, iceberg sighting, and cargo sling operations.
The contract was signed in the framework of the PRIC’s new icebreaker ship-borne helicopter acquisition. The AW169 will be carrying out missions from the new icebreaker and close to the Chinese polar stations in the South and North Poles.
The AW169 was selected thanks to its outstanding performance in demanding environmental conditions, and its state-of-the-art technologies such as touch-screen display, APU mode and adaptive variable speed rotor.
This latest order marks a further success in the global market for the type providing further evidence of its design versatility. The presence of Leonardo in China grows stronger with almost 200 helicopters sold to Chinese customers to date for commercial and public services. The growing fleet is supported by an increased customer support presence, recently enhanced by the opening of a major warehouse facility in Shanghai.