These aircraft add to the current fleet of five AW119Kes utilised in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) role.
Deliveries of the three helicopters are foreseen in 2016
Over 250 AW119 helicopters have been ordered to date in more than 30 countries by more than 110 customers.
Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced today that the South African Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) of South Africa has signed a contract for three AW119Kx EMS-equipped helicopters to expand their existing fleet of five AW119Ke aircraft. The contract also includes an option to acquire five additional units. The initial three aircraft will be delivered from AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia facility between January and October 2016.
AMS is the first civilian operator in South Africa to introduce night vision systems into air medical activities, to allow 24/7 operations as demanded, which is becoming the standard for Health Organisations worldwide. This agreement will allow AMS to operate the most modern and efficient EMS fleet in Sub-Sahara Africa. The performance characteristics of the AW119Kx, including its range, ability to operate in hot and high environments (even from unprepared landing zones in extremely dusty conditions), makes it the ideal choice for EMS operations from remote locations across the African continent. Integrating a state-of-the-art flight deck system into the proven AW119 platform and certifying the new avionics suite, delivering the next-generation helicopter to customers in the US, Brazil, Chile, Australia and other countries over the course of two years is a testament to the AgustaWestland design, engineering and production teams, contributing to the strength of the aircraft across all market segments.
Note on AW119Kx helicopter
The AW119Kx features a new avionics system that includes a synthetic vision system, moving map, highway in the sky and obstacle/terrain avoidance systems for enhanced situational awareness and safety. Over 250 AW119 helicopters have been ordered to date in more than 30 countries by over 110 customers. The new AW119Kx, like the AW119Ke, is perfectly suited to perform many roles including EMS, VIP/corporate transport, utility, fire-fighting, law enforcement and government duties.
Note on SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service
Established in 1966 by the SA Red Cross Society and formed into an independent trust in 1994, AMS shares the principles and creed of the South African Red Cross Society. AMS is a non-profit organisation with bases in the Western Cape (Cape Town & Oudtshoorn), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban & Richards Bay), Limpopo (Polokwane) and Mpumalanga (Nelspruit). They provide an air ambulance network, rural health outreach and emergency rescue service to metropolitan areas and remote rural communities