The Croatian Police last week took delivery of the first of two AW139 helicopters, with the second reportedly due in July 2016. Flown to Zagreb Airport on Wednesday, the aircraft had actually quietly entered national airspace the previous evening and overnighted at Pula ready for its higher profile landing at the capital’s airport.
The two aircraft will have their primary role as border protection. Croatia has the EU’s second longest land border with non-EU countries, a total of 745 miles, making it only marginally shorter than the 816 mile border between Finland and Russia. This role has enabled Croatia to benefit from an extensive assistance package from the EU to help fund the aircraft.
The AW139 is fitted with a Trakkabeam A800 searchlight to port, an EO/IR turret under the nose and a winch to starboard – the border role extends to its marine borders and thus an SAR role. Both will have the new higher 7,000kg gross weight.
Arriving on the Italian test registration I-EASM, the helicopter will become 9A-HRP in due course. It is serial 31715 from the Finmeccanica production line in Italy. The Croatian Police also operates three JetRangers, one AB212 and a pair of EC135P2
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
Photos with this report are © Copyright 2016 Boran Pivcic, who blogs at Achtung, Skyhawk!
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