Leonardo and THC announce a strong expansion of the helicopter fleet in Saudi Arabia

(To Leonardo)

– Leonardo and THC (The Helicopter Company), a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, announced yesterday a substantial growth in their collaboration with an order for twenty AW139 helicopters and a multi-year Framework Agreement for over 130 units. The announcement was made during an official ceremony at the Heli-Expo 2024 helicopter show in Anaheim, California.

The contract for twenty AW139s is aimed primarily at strengthening the fleet employed in healthcare and search and rescue services in Saudi Arabia. The Framework Agreement for more than 130 aircraft includes a mix of AW109, AW169, AW139 and AW189K for different applications, with first orders expected by mid-year and deliveries to THC over a 5-7 year period.

The intention to acquire these twenty AW139s was announced at Heli-Expo 2023. When all firm orders for AW139s translate into deliveries, THC will have a total fleet of approximately 50 AW139s for different missions such as air rescue, search and rescue and corporate transport in the country, making THC one of the largest operators of AW139s globally.

Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters, said “We are proud of this plan to substantially grow THC's helicopter fleet based on our technology. Our state-of-the-art platforms will support their expansion program with important rescue and transportation missions for the communities served by the operator.” The world's largest helicopter program since its certification in 2004 and the best-selling model in its category, the AW139 has received orders for over 1400 units to date, from more than 290 operators in over 90 countries, for all types of missions . The global fleet of more than 1200 AW139s has logged over 4 million flight hours to date. This model features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to increase operational awareness and reduce pilot workload. It is unrivaled in terms of speed, power margins and overall performance and features the largest cab in its class with high modularity for rapid reconfiguration, as well as the transmission's unique ability to continue running smoothly for over 60 minutes even in the absence of lubricant for even greater reliability and safety. Over 1000 mission kits have been certified for the AW139 to date. The addition of the AW169 and AW189K models in the THC fleet in the future will allow the operator to benefit from the unique advantages of Leonardo's new generation helicopter family, a concept based on shared design, components, support and training approach, with unprecedented management efficiency and versatility.