AgustaWestland has signed contracts for eight AW139 medium twin helicopters for Japanese customers, seven for the Japan Coast Guard and one for Saitama prefecture.

These contracts bring the number of AW139s ordered for the Japanese market to 30, says AgustaWestland. The deal, signed with the company's Japanese distributor Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, will bring the coast guard's total of AW139s to 18, with six helicopters to be delivered this year.

AgustaWestland originally announced the Saitama order on 14 January. The prefecture's Fire Fighting and Disaster Relief Department will operate the aircraft, which is expected to reach operational service in Spring 2012. Its missions will include fire fighting, emergency medical services, air rescue, and transport.

AW139 Japan Coast Guard

"These latest orders fully endorse the ability of the AW139 to operate in the hostile maritime environment surrounding the coasts of Japan," says AgustaWestland.

Source: Flight International