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Italian Air Force receives another HH-139B SAR helicopter

Italian Air Force HH-139B
Photo: Leonardo

Italian defense technology company Leonardo has delivered another HH-139B search and rescue helicopter to the Italian Air Force.

The HH-139B is a dedicated air force variant of the AW139 type. The aircraft will be used for a wide range of missions including SAR – search and rescue, fire-fighting, slow mover interceptor.

“National sovereignty, from a military and technological point of view, is preserved today also thanks to this level of excellence and to the synergies among institutions, defense and industry. Italy has prime industrial capabilities and Leonardo symbolizes a nation, which can leverage a top world-class aerospace, defense and security industry,” Italian defense minister Lorenzo Guerini said during an official visit to Leonardo’s helicopter facility in Vergiate, Italy, for the handover ceremony.

Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo General Manager Lucio Valerio Cioffi, and Leonardo Helicopters’ MD Gian Piero Cutillo were also in attendance. During the visit to the facility, the Authorities were shown the Company’s industrial capabilities, products and advanced technologies, which are fully representative of Leonardo’s leadership in the vertical flight domain and preserve in-country strategic technological capabilities.

The helicopter is one of 17 HH-139B variants that are to be delivered by 2021. The first unit was delivered in November last year.

Compared to the HH-139A, the 7-ton HH-139B variant features, among others, new electro-optics, new radar, a new rescue hoist and a mission console in the cabin. Core avionics will feature Phase 8 software release allowing even more advanced and safer all-weather navigation and mission capabilities.

“We are proud to provide our capability so that the Italian Air Force’s major duties such as supporting the national community and homeland security are guaranteed. The HH-139B is an iconic product fully representative of national industry’s technology excellence and international competitiveness,” Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said.