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The Leonardo AW139 is a 15-seat medium helicopter which first flew in 2001. The AW139 has found success as a corporate transport helicopter and began operational use in 2003. The type has also gained a strong military reputation and has been ordered by a number of air forces including the Irish Air Corps. Boeing also build a version of the AW139 under licence called the MH-139A Grey Wolf which has replaced the UH-1N in US Air Force service as a security patrol helicopter for nuclear missile launch facilities. In the UK, the AW139 was previously used for Search and Rescue for His Majesties Coastguard.
The Irish Air Corps operate the AW139 as a utility helicopter. Ireland were the first military operator of the AW139 and fly a fleet of six helicopters that primarily are used as an Air Ambulance and VIP transport.
The Irish Air Corps will be providing one of their AW139s for static display at this year's Air Tattoo. The helicopter will be provided by the No 3 Operations Wing.
Photo Credit: Peter Reoch