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Bristow orders six Leonardo AW139 helicopters for search and rescue

December 8, 2022  By Helicopters Staff

Bristow Group signed a contract for six AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters to support the Second-Generation Search and Rescue Aviation (“UKSAR2G”) program administered by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). Aircraft’s deliveries are expected to start in 2023 and to be completed in 2024, joining an existing fleet of nine AW189 super medium twin engine SAR helicopters as part of the UKSAR2G program.

The AW139s for Bristow will feature a 7-ton MTOW (Maximum Take-Off Weight), Honeywell Primus Epic integrated avionics Phase 8, an advanced Synthetic Vision System (SVS), improved 2D maps and wireless data loading.

These AW139s will also feature a Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS), explains Leonardo, to deliver greater mission capability in demanding weather conditions. The aircraft will also undergo a mission system integration to be carried out by Bristow in partnership with Nova Systems after their delivery.

“This latest step supporting our key partner Bristow to meet major users’ needs is further testament to the outstanding capabilities of our best-selling AW139 as the aircraft of choice in its category for SAR among prime operators and countries,” said Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters. “It perfectly complements the medium to long range SAR capabilities of the AW189 delivering unparalleled combined capabilities for the task. We’re proud to continue to provide our contribution to the MCA partnership with this type, its technology and support solutions will benefit the served communities in UK.”


Leonardo and Bristow have been partners for over 26 years with Bristow using a range of types including the AW119 single engine, AW109 light twin, AW139 intermediate twin and AW189 super medium. Bristow’s fleet of Leonardo helicopters will account for nearly 100 units with the arrival of these additional six AW139s.


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