Helicopter services provider Toll Helicopters has signed a contract with Leonardo for the purchase of two more AW139 helicopters to support its lease contract with the Australian Army.
The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville has been using three AW139s leased from Toll since 2021 for a range of activities including pilot and aircrew officer training, utility support to ADF exercises and emergency response and disaster relief missions.
The Australian defense ministry was forced to lease helicopters in order to counter the low availability of the MRH90 Taipan fleet, which is now being retired early in favor of US-built UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.
Leonardo will deliver the new airframes from its Vergiate final assembly line facility in Italy in the second half of 2023 and bring Toll’s fleet of AW139’s to a total of 12.
The newly purchased AW139s will support Toll Helicopters contract delivery across two programs, a Crash Response Helicopter Service for the 1st Aviation Regiment in Darwin and the Army Commercial Helicopter program currently based out of the 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville. The aircraft features searchlight, hoist, cargo hook, provisions for EO/IR equipment, to support a range of training and emergency response and disaster relief missions.
With more than 1,130 units in service with over 280 customers in around 90 nations and over 3.6 million flight hours logged to date since its certification in 2004, Leonardo says the AW139 has also proven successful among military operators worldwide for a wide range of roles including SAR, MEDEVAC, special operations, homeland security, slow mover intercept, advanced training, utility and transport.