April 5, 2015:
The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has ordered nine AW139 helicopters from Britain (Agusta Westland). These aircraft usually sell for about $15 million each. Three are for civilian (VIP transport) and six for military (search and rescue) use. These eight ton choppers carry up to 15 passengers and can get by with just one pilot. Cruise speed is 288 kilometers an hour and endurance averages 3.2 hours. The AW139 competes with the U.S. UH-60 and another European helicopter, the slightly larger NH90. The VIP versions are configured to carry fewer people but in more comfort.
Agusta Westland provides AW139s in many other variants like transports or ambulances. Most, however, are bought for search and rescue and VIP transport. Often AW139s are built for dual-use. Agusta Westland designed the AW139 to replace the many UH-1 (and civilian versions) Agusta Westland had produced under license for many year. Introduced in 2003, nearly 800 have been built or ordered so far.