Swiss-Air-Rescue’s “Project Icebird” flies high with three new AW169s
December 2, 2015 By AgustaWestland
AgustaWestland has announced that Swiss Air-Rescue Rega has placed an order for three AW169 light intermediate twin-engine and one GrandNew light twin-engine helicopters which will join the current fleet of a GrandNew and nine single-pilot configured Da Vinci helicopters. The aircraft will perform emergency medical service and search and rescue missions (EMS/SAR) all over Switzerland, from the lowlands to the high mountains of the Alps.
The acquisition of new generation aircraft to meet the future all weather helicopter rescue programme of Rega is valued at CHF 50 million (approximately €46 million). The GrandNew will be delivered to Rega in the autumn of 2016, while the three AW169s are scheduled to be delivered in 2020. These contracts strengthen the long-standing partnership between AgustaWestland and Rega, following decades of successful operations with the A109K2, introduced in 1992, and more recently with the fleet of Da Vinci helicopters which entered service in 2009. As part of the challenging and innovative “Project Icebird”, Rega and AgustaWestland will together set a new benchmark for EMS/SAR operations with the development of the “Helicopter of the Future
Daniele Romiti, AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer, said “Project Icebird confirms Rega’s strong confidence in our technology, customisation capabilities and the outstanding performance of the AW169. We look forward to working with them to bring their specialised AW169 into service.”
“With the new rescue helicopter, we will be able to extend our scope of operations and in the future come to the aid of more people in distress than ever before,” says Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler.
The AW169s will bring Rega into a new era in terms of technology and mission capability. Rega AW169s will feature a jointly developed, highly-customised EMS/SAR configuration to meet their future all-weather requirements. This will include a Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) for operations in known icing conditions, making the AW169 the lightest helicopter ever built with such a feature, advanced next-generation satellite navigation capabilities, Synthetic Vision System (SVS), Enhanced Vision System (EVS), Selex ES’ Laser Obstacle Avoidance and Monitoring (LOAM) system for enhanced safety and situational awareness.