The Leonardo AW139 is set to become the new Presidential Transport helicopter in the Republic of Colombia.
President Iván Duque Márquez will, in spring, travel in the “VVIP” variant that incorporates an eight-seat configuration and a self-defence suite. It will be operated by the country’s Air Force.
“The selection of the AW139 VVIP in Colombia confirms the leading role of Leonardo in the world’s VIP multiengine helicopter market with a 40 per cent share and grows the success of the type across Latin America for a range or roles, including VIP and offshore transport, law enforcement and public services,” said Leonardo in a statement.
“A successful model in the global military market thanks to its outstanding performance in hot and high, payload, versatility, latest technologies and modern serviceability approach often replacing the ageing UH-1 series, the AW139M military variant is also being proposed by Leonardo to respond to the multirole requirements of the Air Force, Army, National Police and Navy in Colombia.
“With over 400 civil and military helicopters in service in Latin America today, Leonardo is a major force in the rotorcraft sector across the region.”
More generally, Leonardo has sold nearly 1,200 AW139s to more than 280 customers in 70 different countries. Currently, 1,100 are in service with more than 2.9 million flight hours logged in operations to date.
Leonardo also confirmed its AW169 new generation light intermediate twin-engine helicopter is set to enter the Mexican VIP/corporate market this year, too.