Leonardo-Finmeccanica to supply additional AW139s to Italian CBP Service

Italian multinational aerospace, defence and security company Leonardo-Finmeccanica has signed a €90m contract to supply six additional AW139 intermediate twin helicopters to the Italian Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service, Guardia di Finanza.

Under the terms of the contract, Leonardo-Finmeccanica will also provide integrated logistic support as well as training for pilots and technicians.

The contract will help increase Guardia di Finanza’s AW139 twin helicopter fleet to eight units. It also includes scope for supplying six additional helicopters, which would enable the operator to take a further step towards replacement of its old AB412 fleet.

Deliveries of the six new aircraft are expected to start in the middle of next year and are slated to be completed in 2019.

Guardia di Finanza will use the new twin helicopters to perform a wide range of missions, which include maritime and mountain reconnaissance, maritime surveillance and patrol, law enforcement and homeland security.

The new AW139 helicopters will feature a wide range of mission equipment that will be managed by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems’ airborne tactical observation and surveillance (ATOS) mission system.

The sensors managed by ATOS will feature the high-performance multi-mode or multi-mission surveillance radar Gabbiano by Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems.

They will also include a high definition forward-looking infra-red system with moving target indicator (MTI) capability that is fully integrated with the mission console to offer a clear and easily understandable tactical picture to the crew.

Communications equipment will include Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems’ SRT-700 multi-band radios and M428 identification friend or foe (IFF) transponder, as well as marine band and satellite communication systems.

Other mission and safety equipment that will be used includes a full night vision goggle (NVG) cockpit and cabin, optical proximity LiDAR system (OPLS), latest searchlight, wire strike protection system, auxiliary fuel tank, external fast rope system, emergency floatation system and external life rafts.

The helicopters are designed to offer large spacious cabin for the staff, equipment and survivors, and can be accessed by two large sliding doors.

Image: Leonardo-Finmeccanica to deliver six AW139 helicopters to Guardia di Finanza. Photo: courtesy of Leonardo-Finmeccanica.