Leonardo announced on Oct. 16, 2017, that it has significantly grown its market share in the Japanese helicopter market by securing orders for AW169, AW139 and AW189 helicopters in firefighting configuration following highly competitive tenders.
Leonardo and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, the Japanese distributor for the AW169 and AW139 types, have signed contracts with the Yamaguchi prefecture firefighting and disaster relief agency for one AW169. The two companies have also signed contracts with with the Shizuoka prefecture and Fukushima prefecture firefighting and disaster relief agencies for one AW139 each.
The AW139s add to an established fleet of more than 50 units in all market segments, and they reinforce the presence of this model in the firefighting market. The Yamaguchi prefecture AW169 is the third AW169 to be sold in Japan; the first for firefighting roles, opening up this market for the most modern helicopter in its weight class.