The Armed Forces of Malta has picked the AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin for its maritime border patrol and search and rescue (SAR) requirement.

As part of an ongoing plan to strengthen its armed forces, Malta has placed a firm order for one AW139 with two options. These will be partly financed by the EU's European Borders Fund programme.

 AW139 SAR - AgustaWestland


The contract, which also covers training for pilots and technicians, mandates delivery of the first aircraft in June 2014.

Mission equipment on the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-67A-powered type includes a high-definition forward-looking infrared camera, search/weather radar, a four-axis autopilot with SAR modes and an external rescue hoist.

Three aged Aerospatiale Alouette III helicopters are currently used by the Maltese armed forces for tasks including SAR duties.

Source: Flight International