31-Jan-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
Italy’s Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) have now received all six of their new batch of AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters, replacing older Agusta-built Bell 412s. The last pair were delivered on Friday 22nd and Thursday 28th January to Sarzana using callsigns “Nemo 9” and “Nemo 10”.
Guardia Costiera previously had four AW139s, delivered late 2010 and early 2011, and the type is known internally as “Nemo” – hence the callsigns. Two of the existing four are based at Sarzana and the second pair at Catania/Fontanarossa on the island of Sicily. The six new aircraft brings the AW139 fleet to ten, and signals the retirement of their 412s, which were built under licence from Bell by AgustaWestland.
GC acquired four AB412SPs in the mid 1990s and six higher-powered AB412HPs in the late 90s with the improved main rotor transmission which gives it better “hot and high” performance. Of this batch of 10, one was withdrawn from use after an accident in October 2001 near Grosseto, and a further three have been withdrawn and gradually reduced as spares requirements on the active aircraft dictate. The remaining six 412s are expected to be withdrawn from service once all six new AW139s are fully on charge at Sarzana and allocated out to bases around the Italian coast.
The full list of six are as follows
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com