by Richard Tomkins
Washington DC (UPI) Mar 26, 2014
An Italian Air Force AW139M is about to begin a month-long demonstration tour of South America to help drum up business for AgustaWestland.
The Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer said that during the tour potential government customers will be able to fly the military variant of the AW139 and test its capabilities for use in homeland security, search and rescue, armed patrol, battlefield support and law enforcement missions.
"As the military variant of the extremely successful AW139, the 'M' version is expected to attract significant interest from government operators requiring a cost-effective 'off-the-shelf' multi-role helicopter," the company said. "The AW139M has all the outstanding features of its AW139 commercial counterpart together with a wide range of military equipment options."
The AW139 is a twin-engine aircraft with a maximum speed of about 190 miles per hour, a range of 573 miles and a service ceiling of 20,000 feet. It features high-performance search radar, an electro-optic/infrared device and personnel insertion/extraction equipment, including a hoist, fast roping and rappelling points.
The helicopter can also carry heavy machine guns and air-ground rockets for combat use.
AW said seating capacity is 15 passengers, or 10 fully equipped soldiers.
The demonstration tour of the Italian Air Force AW139M begins in Chile, where it has been on display at an international aerospace exhibition.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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