The Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI - Italian Air Force) has accepted another HH-139B helicopter manufactured at Leonardo’s facility in Vergiate, Italy, during a June 25 ceremony attended by the Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini and IAF Chief of Staff Gen Alberto Rosso.
Intended as a dedicated AMI variant of the AW139 platform manufactured by Leonardo, the HH-139B will be used for a range of missions including search and rescue, fire-fighting and Slow Mover Interceptor training exercises. In total, the AMI will acquire 17 HH-139B helicopters, the first of which was delivered in December 2020.
The HH-139B, which will be operated by the AMI’s 15th Wing, joins an existing fleet of 13 multirole HH-139As and four VH-139As, the latter are used for governmental transport missions.
Compared to the HH-139A, the seven-tonne HH-139B variant features new electro-optics and radar, a new rescue hoist and a mission console in the cabin, while core avionics feature the Phase 8 software release for improved all-weather navigation.
Widely sold to over 280 customers from more than 70 countries around the world, almost 1,100 AW139s are in service, logging more than 2.9 million flight hours.