AgustaWestland announced today that the South African Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) of South Africa has signed a contract for three AW119Kx EMS-equipped helicopters to expand their existing fleet of five AW119Ke aircraft. The contract also includes an option to acquire five additional units. The initial three aircraft will be delivered from AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia facility between January and October 2016.
AMS is the first civilian operator in South Africa to introduce night vision systems into air medical activities, to allow 24/7 operations as demanded, which is becoming the standard for Health Organisations worldwide. This agreement will allow AMS to operate the most modern and efficient EMS fleet in Sub-Sahara Africa. The performance characteristics of the AW119Kx, including its range, ability to operate in hot and high environments (even from unprepared landing zones in extremely dusty conditions), makes it the ideal choice for EMS operations from remote locations across the African continent. Integrating a state-of-the-art flight deck system into the proven AW119 platform and certifying the new avionics suite, delivering the next-generation helicopter to customers in the US, Brazil, Chile, Australia and other countries over the course of two years is a testament to the AgustaWestland design, engineering and production teams, contributing to the strength of the aircraft across all market segments.
SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service
Established in 1966 by the SA Red Cross Society and formed into an independent trust in 1994, AMS shares the principles and creed of the South African Red Cross Society. AMS is a non-profit organisation with bases in the Western Cape (Cape Town & Oudtshoorn), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban & Richards Bay), Limpopo (Polokwane) and Mpumalanga (Nelspruit). They provide an air ambulance network, rural health outreach and emergency rescue service to metropolitan areas and remote rural communities.
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