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Contracts - Awards | Europe - Other | Helicopters & Rotary | Middle East - Other

Qatar Adds 21 AW139 Utility Helicopters

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Civil AW139(click to view full) Fresh from its purchase of 2 C-17 strategic airlifters, Qatar’s Emiri Air Force signed a EUR 260 million (currently about $400 million) contract with AgustaWestland in July 2007 for 18 AW139 medium twin helicopters (formerly the AB139, until the Bell partnership dissolved in 2005). A March 2011 order for 3 more specialized EMS/MEDEVAC variants brought the total to 21. The Qatar Emiri Air Force currently flies old Westland Commando helicopters in heavier utility and maritime roles, and SA341 Gazelles in light helicopter and attack roles. The AW139 will fit somewhere in the middle. The AW139 QEAF AW139(click to view larger) With over 370 AW139s ordered to date, the helicopter has been a commercial success in roles ranging from VIP transport, to oil industry service, to law enforcement. At the same time, previous military orders had been limited to Ireland (4+2 options) and the Estonian Border Guard, plus 4 governments who use it in a search and rescue capacity (Japan, Oman, Spain, UAE). The AW139’s positioning between the full utility and light helicopter segments is its source of commercial advantage, and appears to fit Qatar’s set of needs very well, but may be a detriment to […]

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