Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland has announced an order for three AW169 light intermediate twin-engine helicopters and one GrandNew light twin from Swiss Air-Rescue Rega. The brand new rotorcraft will join the air rescue providers current fleet of a single GrandNew and nine single-pilot configured Da Vinci helicopters. The new acquisition of these latest generation helicopters is valued at approximately €46 million (CHF 50 million) and will meet all the future all weather helicopter needs of Rega. Rega and AgustaWestland will also work together to set a new benchmark for EMS/SAR operations with the development of the “Helicopter of the Future” as part of the challenging and innovative “Project Icebird”.
Daniele Romiti, AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer, said “Project Icebird confirms Rega’s strong confidence in our technology, customisation capabilities and the outstanding performance of the AW169. We look forward to working with them to bring their specialised AW169 into service.” "With the new rescue helicopter, we will be able to extend our scope of operations and in the future come to the aid of more people in distress than ever before," said Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler.
The new helicopters will be used for emergency medical service and search and rescue missions (EMS/SAR) from the lowlands to the high mountains of the Alps, all over Switzerland. The GrandNew will be delivered in autumn 2016 to Rega and the three AW169s are scheduled for delivery in 2020.
Rega’s AW169s will feature a highly-customised EMS/SAR configuration that is being jointly developed with Agusta Westland, to meet their future all-weather requirements. This will include a Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) for operations in known icing conditions, making the AW169 the lightest helicopter ever built with such a feature, advanced next-generation satellite navigation capabilities, Synthetic Vision System (SVS), Enhanced Vision System (EVS), Selex ES’ Laser Obstacle Avoidance and Monitoring (LOAM) system for enhanced safety and situational awareness.