AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopter.

The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) has awarded a contract to AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, to deliver a second AW139 intermediate-twin engine helicopter in June 2015.

The AW139 will be used in maritime border patrol and search and rescue (SAR) missions.

In July 2013 the AFM signed a contract with AgustaWestland for the delivery of one AW139 with an option for two more aircraft.

This also included an integrated logistic support (ILS) package and training of ten pilots, including four students and 20 technicians.

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Powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6C turboshaft engines, the AW139 is a 15-seat medium-sized twin-engine helicopter, designed to conduct offshore transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, emergency medical transport, VIP transport and firefighting in hot and high conditions.

The helicopter, with a flying speed of 165k, features a low acoustic signature, integrated-mission avionics and a full ice protection system to complete missions in demanding environments.

"The AW139 will be used in maritime border patrol and search and rescue (SAR) missions."

The Maltese helicopters are scheduled to be supplied with an advanced maritime patrol and SAR mission equipment package, including a high-definition forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system, search/weather radar, cabin mission console and a searchlight and satellite communication system.

Additional equipment will include a four-axis autopilot with SAR modes, naval transponder, external rescue hoist and a four-bag flotation system.

The helicopter is currently operating in Italy, Spain, Estonia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the UK and the US, among others.

Image: An AW139 medium sized twin-engine helicopter during its flight. Photo: © 2012 AgustaWestland – a Finmeccanica company.

Defence Technology