The chairman of the organising committee for IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, Obadi al-Ketbi, confirmed on February 24 that the UAE Armed Forces has signed a 732 million dirham ($199 million) contract with AgustaWestland for nine AW139 medium-twin helicopters. Six are to be used in the search and rescue role, while the other three will be used for VIP transport.
Delviery of the helicopters has already commenced. The first four were airfreighted out of Milan-Malpensa Airport, Italy, during January. In two separate flights, each carrying two AW139s, a United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence C-17A Globemaster III carried three of the SAR configured helicopters and one of the VIP examples to the UAE. Alan Warnes