AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that on December 4th the Government of Estonia gave approval for the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia to sign a contract with AgustaWestland for the purchase of a third AW139 helicopter. This aircraft will be delivered in the last quarter 2010 and operated by the Border Guard to perform search and rescue, medical evacuation and border patrol duties. This third AW139 will be based at Kuressaare Airport (Saaremaa Island), from 2011 when a new base will be opened, that will allow faster coverage in the Western area of Estonia. Meanwhile the second AW139 was delivered in early December and is based in Tallinn together with the first aircraft. These helicopters will ensure that the work of guarding the external borders and the border control infrastructure are in compliance with the European Schengen zone requirements. The order for a third AW139 follows the successful introduction into service of the initial aircraft and highlights the customer’s satisfaction with the helicopter, training and support provided by AgustaWestland. Since the start of operations in October 2007, the first Estonian Border Guard AW139 has successfully accomplished a number of search and rescue and patrol missions in demanding conditions, dramatically enhancing operational effectiveness and border security. The AW139’s superior performance allows greater coverage of the areas for longer periods compared to any other helicopter in the medium twin class. Excellent one engine inoperative capability ensures the helicopter can deliver while on-station, safely accomplishing the rescue mission. Cutting edge technology reduces pilot workload and allows the crew to concentrate on the mission. With the largest cabin in its class the AW139 can easily accommodate the crew, rescue equipment and survivors. The AW139 has already been chosen for SAR and border patrol duties by a number of customers in the UK, Italy, Spain, Japan, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Korea and Malaysia. Over 430 AW139 helicopters have been ordered so far by almost 110 customers in nearly 40 countries to perform a wide range of roles such as search and rescue, emergency medical service, law enforcement, offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport and utility.
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