CHC Group announced that the Australian business unit has completed the roll out of six new generation Leonardo AW139 aircraft to replace the S-76 SAR helicopter fleet flying for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The final AW139 will be on base in East Sale by mid-March after the first aircraft was introduced in Victoria a little more than a year ago.
The AW139 aircraft are search and rescue configured with four-axis auto hover, allowing them to hover over water at night. CHC is the most experienced operator of auto hover technology in Australia. The crews also use white phosphorus night vision technology, introduced into Australia by CHC, which offers greater range and vision clarity than any other existing technology.
CHC Helicopter operates and provides their services to the Royal Australian Air Force, Australian Navy and the Australian Army. The new AW139 aircraft will be in addition to the current AW139 night vision goggle capable, four-axis auto hover machine currently servicing the Australian Navy since May 2017.
“We’re delighted to be able to upgrade our SAR fleet for the Royal Australia Air Force,” said Vincent D’Rozario, CHC’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific. “CHC Helicopter has worked closely with the RAAF for almost 30 years and it is a pleasure to provide of a more capable, new generation aircraft. Fitted with four-access auto hover capabilities and CHC’s award winning night vision technology, we know these aircraft will prove invaluable support during training exercises.”
Leonardo said: “We are glad to finalize the deliveries of the AW139 for such an important program. CHC is one of Leonardo’s most trusted partners worldwide and we are proud that our helicopters are operated by RAAF for such a critical mission.”