The Swedish Maritime Administration has placed orders with AgustaWestland for seven AW139 intermediate twin-engine helicopters, configured to support the administration’s search-and-rescue (SAR) missions.

AgustaWestland international business managing director Geoff Hoon said following the completion of detailed evaluation process, the maritime administration has selected AW139 to meet its future SAR helicopter requirements.

"The aircraft can cruise at a speed of 165k and features a low acoustic signature."

Under the terms of the contract, AgustaWestland will integrate AW139 helicopters with its Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) to enable operations in all weather conditions.

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6C turboshaft engines, the AW139 is a 15-seat medium sized helicopter designed to perform in hot and high conditions with inherent multirole capability and flexibility of operation.

Optimised for easy and rapid maintenance with reduced number of parts, the aircraft can cruise at a speed of 165k and features a low acoustic signature and integrated mission avionics to accomplish missions in demanding environments.

As well as supporting SAR missions, the helicopter is capable of conducting a range of missions, such as law enforcement/emergency medical service (EMS), military transport missions, and air ambulance, as well as maritime and offshore oil operations.

The helicopters are scheduled to be delivered to Sweden from early 2013 to 2014 and will be operated from five bases across the country.

The Swedish Maritime Administration is responsible for maritime and aeronautical search-and-rescue services in Sweden.

Some 660 AW139s have been delivered to meet demanding missions for almost 180 customers from more than 50 countries.

Image: An AgustaWestland-built AW139 helicopter cruising above the sea. Photo: courtesy of AgustaWestland – a Finmeccanica Company.