Finmeccanica, through its Helicopter Division, today announced during the Heli-Expo 2016 show (Louisville, Kentucky) contracts for twenty-six helicopters dedicated to helicopter rescue, destined to operate in China and Japan. The total value of the orders received, which significantly increase Finmeccanica's already significant presence in the rescue and public utility applications market in Asia, is approximately 80 million.
Specifically, in China the Sino-US Intercontinental customer ordered 25 AgustaWestland AW119Kx helicopters, as well as a support and training package, with deliveries from June 2016. This order is part of a more ambitious framework agreement for 60 units of the same model to be acquired within the 2017. The operator Kingwing General Aviation Co. Ltd will use these aircraft to support the largest helicopter rescue program ever made in China. In Japan, the company Shizuoka Air Commuter Corporation has purchased an additional GrandNew helicopter in an air ambulance configuration for the Niigata Prefecture, thus strengthening support for the national helicopter rescue program that involves all Japanese prefectures. The entry into service is scheduled for the autumn of 2016.
During the first day of Heli-Expo 2016, Finmeccanica's Helicopter Division also presented the evolution of the SW-4 single-engine light helicopter, called AW009. The new model presents substantial improvements in terms of comfort, maintenance, acquisition and operating costs, as well as a new integrated avionics and, in the future, also a new optional engine. The AW009 is offered for training, public order, rescue and passenger transport tasks. Finmeccanica's Helicopter Division received a Helicopter Demonstration from the Riverside Police Department in California. The US FAA certification is expected at the end of the year, while deliveries will be made in the USA in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the company AAL USA which will support the integration of the new avionics and the certification process. Finally, the Helicopter Division of Finmeccanica celebrated together with one of the largest helicopter operators in the world, the US company Era Group Inc., primary operator of AgustaWestland civil helicopters, passing the 100.000 flight hours of its 40 AW139 fleet, used directly by the customer or leased to third parties for transportation tasks offshore and rescue. This important result was achieved thanks to the long collaboration between the parties in the field of maintenance and the mutual commitment in the field of safety. The worldwide fleet of AW139, which today has more than 800 units in service, has passed 1.400.000 flight hours.