Italy Air Force’s Leonardo HH-139 B Helicopter: Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini and Italian Air Force Chief of Staff General Alberto Rosso Friday attended the acceptance ceremony of an Italian Air Force HH-139B helicopter during an official visit to Leonardo’s helicopter facility at Vergiate in Italy, said the Italian helicopter manufacturer Leonardo.
Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo General Manager Lucio Valerio Cioffi, and Leonardo Helicopters’ MD Gian Piero Cutillo were also present on the occasion to handover the helicopter to Italian Air Force.
The HH-139B is a dedicated Air Force variant of the AW139 type. The aircraft will be used for a wide range of missions including SAR – Search and Rescue, fire-fighting, Slow Mover Interceptor.
“National sovereignty, from a military and technological point of view, is preserved today also thanks to this level of excellence and to the synergies among institutions, Defence and industry,” said Lorenzo Guerini, Defence Minister of Italy.
Guerini said the country has prime industrial capabilities and Leonardo symbolises a nation, which can leverage a top world-class Aerospace, Defence and Security industry.
“We are proud to provide our capability so that the Italian Air Force’s major duties such as supporting the national community and homeland security are guaranteed,” Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said.
Profumo said said the HH-139B is an iconic product fully representative of national industry’s technology excellence and international competitiveness.
“The facility in Vergiate, the largest Leonardo helicopter final assembly line with more than 1,000 employees, shows outstanding rotorcraft capabilities in terms of products, manufacturing processes, and professional skills, and is able to maintain Leonardo and Italy at the forefront of innovation in an increasingly strategic and highly competitive sector,” Profumo said in a statement sent to Defence Star.
During the visit to the facility, the Italian defence minister and Chief of Air Force were also shown the company’s industrial capabilities, products and advanced technologies, which are fully representative of Leonardo’s leadership in the vertical flight domain and preserve in-country strategic technological capabilities, Leonardo said in a statement sent to Defence Star.
Over 1,200 AW139s have been sold to more than 280 customers in over 70 countries, including more than 80 for Italian government operators (Air Force, Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard, National Firefighting Department and Carabinieri), plus emergency medical service operators.
Leonardo HH-139B helicopter
Leonardo said this helicopter model benefits from advanced digital technology solutions, for both flight and missions as well as training (pilots and maintenance technicians) and support.
The helicopter’s satellite navigation and synthetic vision system has 3D representations of the external environment on cockpit displays even in poor visibility conditions, advanced collision avoidance and proximity systems, mission sensors and an automatic flight control system, which is able to assist the crew during SAR and hoisting in harsh environmental and weather conditions.
The AW139 also features modern predictive maintenance and diagnostics solutions allowing accurate, rapid assessment and data processing on the health and usage of aircraft components.
The majority of Leonardo helicopters that are manufactured, and the largest number of its helicopter types in the product portfolio, are assembled at Vergiate facility.