Leonardo has announced today that Bristow Group has signed a contract for six AW139s in support of the Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation (“UKSAR2G”) programme by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). Deliveries are expected to start in 2023 and to be completed in 2024, joining an existing fleet of nine AW189 super medium twin-engine SAR helicopters as part of the UKSAR2G programme.

These new AW139s will feature the latest in product enhancement, technology and mission capability, including a 7-ton MTOW (Maximum Take-Off Weight), Honeywell Primus Epic integrated avionics Phase 8, an advanced Synthetic Vision System (SVS), improved 2D maps and wireless data loading. In addition, these AW139s will also feature a Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) to deliver even greater mission capability in demanding weather conditions. The new aircraft will also become part of the Leonardo-Bristow long-term global service programme.

After delivery, the aircraft will undergo a mission system integration to be carried out by Bristow in partnership with Nova Systems. Gian Piero Cutillo, MD of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “This latest step supporting our key partner Bristow to meet major users’ needs is further testament to the outstanding capabilities of our best-selling AW139 as the aircraft of choice in its category for SAR among prime operators and countries. It perfectly complements the medium to long-range SAR capabilities of the AW189 delivering unparalleled combined capabilities for the task. We’re proud to continue to provide our contribution to the MCA partnership with this type. Its technology and support solutions will benefit the served communities in the UK.”


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