Resplendent in eye-catching orange, Indonesia’s air rescue organisation (‘Basarnas’ – Badan SAR Nasional) is showing its new Leonardo AW139 outside the Indo Defence show halls.
The aircraft was ordered in March 2015 and delivered by sea around the end of the year. It was reassembled by Indopelita Air Service and test-flown at the company’s Pondok Cabe facility in February. Included in the contract is an initial support package, plus training for aircrew and technicians. The AW139 is equipped with rescue hoist, radar, FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE 380HDC electro-optic turret, SX-16 Nightsun searchlight and equipment such as air-droppable life rafts.
Leonardo signed an agreement with Indopelita at the 2014 Indo Defence show to establish local support and maintenance services for the Italian company’s helicopters, and it will support the Basarnas AW139. Leonardo has sold AW116, AW139 and GrandNew aircraft to Indonesian customers.
AW139s have proved popular in the public services sector, particularly for SAR duties. The helicopter offers a high cruise speed of 165kt for rapid-response transits, and a six-hour patrol endurance. Accessed by large sliding doors on either side, the cabin can be reconfigured for various duties, and can accommodate an electrooptical sensor operator station. It can also carry aeromedical equipment and four stretchers.
Basarnas would like to acquire 12 AW139s, to operate alongside 12 Airbus Helicopters AS 365N3+ Dauphins (also on display). The service currently has eight ageing NBo 105CBs, and two AS 365N3+s that were assembled by PT Dirgantara Indonesia and delivered in 2014.