IN AN article published recently on its website, Italy’s Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) revealed that it has ordered two AgustaWestland AW139s. Deliveries will commence in the first quarter of 2009, with the second helicopter following before the end of that year. One of them will be based at Catania-Fontanarossa and the other at Luni-Sarzana.
In addition, a third ATR42MP Surveyor is also being acquired for delivery in early 2010, joining two already in Guardia Costiera service. The latter are also to be upgraded with a new LIDAR system to improve their remote sensing capabilities.
Alenia Aeronautica confirmed on February 26 that it had been awarded a contract to supply the third ATR42MP in basic configuration, without specific mission equipment. A further contract will be awarded to cover installation and integration of the mission systems, which will be undertaken by Alenia Aeronautical Aeronavali subsidiary at its Brindisi and Turin plants.
All three ATR42MPs will be in a similar configuration. Other Italian companies involved in the programme include Galileo Avionica (Airborne Tactical Observation System mission equipment), Elettronica (ESM system), Elmer (radio) and OMA (pylons and search pod). The type is used by the Coast Guard for maritime patrol, plus search and rescue and a wide range of other maritime missions.