Mitsui Bussan Aerospace (MBA), the authorised distributor for the Leonardo AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopter models in Japan, announced with Leonardo orders recently signed for a total of six AW139s, to meet the requirements of various upcoming opportunities in the country. These latest orders confirm the continuous success of the AW139 in Japan with nearly 70 units currently in operation.
The AW139 fleet in the country is rapidly growing with new deliveries following previous and planned orders for end users in the country, which include two aircraft for the Japan Coast Guard (comprising 21 AW139s ordered by this operator) and two for the Japan National Police Agency this year. Moreover, three AW139s will be handed over in 2024 to Ishikawa Prefecture Fire Fighting & Disaster Relief, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure & Transport of Hokuriku, Saitama Prefecture Fire Fighting & Disaster Relief respectively.
The AW139 has proven extremely successful in Japan: today the AW139s in-service in Japan have logged in excess of 110,000 flight hours, performing several utility operations, as well as supporting several prefectures and city authorities. Over 150 helicopters of various types, including the AW139, are in service in Japan, used for a wide range of missions including law enforcement, emergency medical service, search and rescue, fire-fighting, disaster relief, VIP/corporate transport, electronic news gathering, and maritime utility.
Mitsui Bussan Aerospace Co., Ltd. is a trading company that specialises in aerospace, defence, and security systems. The company imports and sells helicopters, aircraft, space, defence, and security-related equipment, as well as providing related services. Its products include Leonardo’s helicopters, defense machines, aircraft engines, space business and more. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Tokyo, Japan.
The world’s most important helicopter programme since its certification in 2004 and the bestselling type in its category, the AW139 has logged orders for nearly 1,300 units from more than 290 operators in over 80 countries to date for all missions. The global AW139 fleet has exceeded 3.6 million flight hours logged to date. The type features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins and overall performance, the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration, a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety and up to 1,000 certified kits.