AgustaWestland delivered its 500th AW139 this summer to Weststar Aviation Services of Malaysia, a year after delivering its 400th AW139. Weststar is the largest operator of AW139s in Asia, with 13 already in service and three more on order. The company serves the offshore oil and gas industry.
In addition, the Italian manufacturer and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, the official distributor for the AW139 medium twin in Japan, announced that All Nippon Helicopter (ANH) has ordered a third AW139 to perform electronic news gathering (ENG) missions. ANH is conducting ENG operations exclusively for Nippon Housou Kyoukai (NHK), the Japanese National Broadcasting corporation.
The additional AW139 will be delivered to Japan next year for mission customization before entering service in 2014.
Separately, AgustaWestland announced this summer that it will offer an SAR variant of its larger eight-ton AW189 twin and that the helicopter will compete for the UK’s SAR-H requirement. The company says that if the AW189 were to be selected for the program, it will assemble all of the AW189s configured for SAR worldwide at AW Yeovil in the UK. That plant is currently slated to assemble the 4.5-ton AW169 twin now under development.
The AW189 first flew in December last year and is slated for certification next year.