Ex-Finmeccanica to supply more choppers to Pakistan

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, March 28 (IANS/AKI) Pakistan has placed a new order for AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters, boosting the renewal of its chopper fleet, Italian aerospace and defence giant Leonardo-Finmeccanica said on Tuesday.

Deliveries of the undisclosed number of additional AW139s will start in early 2018, the company said.

The helicopter will be used to perform utility, search and rescue and emergency medical service operations across Pakistan, the company said.

The new order "is a major achievement for Leonardo" and strengthens the "fast-growing fleet of AW139s already in service in Pakistan," the company stated.

A total of 11 AW139s are already in use in Pakistan, with five aircraft operated for civil protection and transport tasks.

The helicopter is ideally suited to operating in "harsh high temperature" and at high altitude, making it "a perfect fit" for Pakistan's environment, the company said.

Other government customers include Italy, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, Leonardo-Finmeccanica said.

The AW139 is the best-selling helicopter in its class and over 250 customers from more than 70 countries have ordered more than 1,000 of the aircraft, with almost 900 currently in service, the company said.