Earlier this afternoon, an Aeronautica Militare Agusta-Westland HH-139B ‘MM82013’ landed in Malta. The aircraft will stay in LMML for a number of days, whereby it will perform a series of exercise with the Armed Forces of Malta in order to learn from each other and strengthen the ties between both countries.
In December, 2020 the Italian Air Force took delivery of the first of 17 HH-139Bs. The HH-139Bs perform a range of missions including SAR, fire-fighting, and Slow Mover Intercept, and joined an existing fleet of 13 multirole HH-139As and four VH-139As, the latter are used for government transport missions. Compared to the HH-139A, the 7-tonne HH-139B variant features, among others, new electro-optics, new radar, a new rescue hoist and a mission console in the cabin. Core avionics will feature Phase 8 software release allowing even more advanced and safer all-weather navigation and mission capabilities. The HH-139 helicopters will serve as an interim solution to replace the ageing HH-212 and already retired HH-3F helicopters role of search and rescue (SAR) operations across the nation.