HM Coastguard AW139

Leonardo AW139

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.

The UK Search and Rescue (SAR) capability was provided by the RAF, Royal Navy and HM Coastguard, using the Sea King and S-61. Following a decision in 2006 by Her Majesties Government, the capability was put out to tender to private operators. During March 2013, the Department for Transport signed a contract with Bristow Helicopters to provide the UK SAR capability from 2015 using the Sikorsky S-92 and Leonardo AW139/AW189 helicopters. The new service achieved full capability during 2019.

Bristow will be providing one of their brand new SAR AW139s for static display at this year’s Air Tattoo. The AW139 will be displayed alongside a Bristow SAR AW189 and S-92.

Photo Credit: Calum Linnen

On display

Role Friday Saturday Sunday
No No No