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Panama's AW139 helicopters hit a flight-hour milestone
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Apr 6, 2017

Argentina border guards to buy AW169 helicopter
Washington (UPI) Apr 6, 2017 - Leonardo announced on Thursday it will sell an AW169 helicopter to the government of Argentina to support the company's border defenses.

The deal was disclosed during LAAD 2017, an international defense exhibition currently hosted in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Once delivered, the helicopter will be the first commercial AW169 to enter service in Argentina.

Government officials expect the delivery in the second half of 2017.

"The selection of the new generation AW169 by such an important customer in Argentina provides further evidence of the competitiveness of the company's high quality, advanced technology solutions that are designed to meet the current and future requirements of prime operators in Latin America, particularly in the demanding security sector," Leonardo CEO Mauro Moretti said in a press release.

The AW169 is a multirole rotorcraft designed to perform surveillance and law enforcement operations. It can also be used for search-and-rescue efforts. According to Leonardo, the helicopter will support the country's efforts along its border, focusing on drug control and counter-terrorism missions.

The twin-engine platform features an advanced open-architecture avionics suite with a fully digital glass cockpit offering optimized situational awareness, and is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW210A engines.

AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters operated by Panama's Servicio Nacional Aeronaval have achieved a 5,000-hour operational milestone.

Leonardo of Italy, of which AW is a part, said the 5,000-flight-hour milestone was reached less than four years after the aircraft entered service with the country.

"This milestone further reinforces the strength of the relationship between Leonardo and the Republic of Panama, as well as the high level of support provided to their fleet of government helicopters," Mauro Moretti, chief executive officer and general manager of Leonardo, said in a press release. "Additional deliveries of helicopters later this year will continue to build on the success of Leonardo in the Republic of Panama and are evidence of the solutions we can provide across all sectors to serve the country, its businesses, and its people."

The AW139 is a medium-lift search-and-rescue and utility aircraft. It has a cruising speed of 191 miles per hour and a flight endurance time of more than five hours.

The fleet of six AW139s operated by Servicio Nacional Aeronaval, or SENAN, are used for rescue missions, medical evacuations, and coastal patrolling.

Leonardo said two additional AW139s are to be delivered to SENAN this year.

CH-53K helicopters approved for low-rate production
Washington (UPI) Apr 5, 2017
The heavy lift CH-53K helicopter by Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has gained Milestone C status, paving the way for low-rate initial production funding. The helicopter, meant for the U.S. Marine Corps, was granted the status after passing a U.S. Defense Acquisition Board review, Lockheed Martin said. "This affirmative Milestone C decision validates the maturity and the robust ... read more

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