Leonardo: Rescue and Salvage Bureau of Ministry of Transport, PRC (MOT CRS) Acquires Six AW189 Helicopters for Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations

Leonardo Helicopters MD announces that the Rescue and Salvage Bureau of Ministry of Transport, PRC (MOT CRS), has signed a contract for six AW189 super-medium twin-engine helicopters, which will be utilized across the coastlines of China for maritime SAR operations. The fleet deliveries will be completed by 2023.

The PRC (MOT CRS) is China's only national maritime professional rescue and salvage force. It undertakes a range of missions, including emergency response to maritime accidents in Chinese waters; rescue of life, ships and property; salvage of sunken ships and wreckages; oil spill clean-ups; and other rescue missions for maritime transport and development of maritime resources. In addition, MOT CRS performs the obligations of relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements on maritime transport and rescue on behalf of the Chinese government. MOT CRS currently operates 20 helicopters across eight bases along China’s coastline. The six Leonardo AW189s will be joining MOT CRS in 2023 to extend its SAR capability to a 200-nautical-mile radius. 

Gian Piero Cutillo of Leonardo Helicopters MD says: “We are happy to contribute to this crucial life-saving program of the Ministry of Transport increasing its capabilities. The selection of the AW189 will deliver outstanding long-range search and rescue in demanding maritime environment conditions. We look forward to working with the operator for the introduction of the new fleet.”  

The order further advances Leonardo's position in the Asia-Pacific region. Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau acquired two AW189s in November 2021 to strengthen Beijing Police Aviation’s law enforcement, SAR and fire-fighting capabilities in the Chinese capital’s metropolitan area. The two orders add to a range of other Leonardo helicopter types in China.

The number of orders, deliveries, applications, customers, and flight hours of the AW189 demonstrate the growing success of the model in the super-medium class. To date, the AW189 is the most successful helicopter in the super-medium category worldwide with more than 100 units on order for a range of missions. 

Belonging to the AW family of products, the AW189 (8.3/8.6 tonne) combines superior payload and range with advanced technologies to successfully operate a wide range of missions. Unique features of the helicopter include a built-in auxiliary power unit as well as the main transmission’s capability to run without oil for 50 minutes. 

The AW189 is available with more than 200 certified kits and is delivered with a comprehensive support and training service package, tailored to meet specific customer requirement to maximize mission effectiveness and safety of operations.

More than 200 Leonardo civil helicopters of various types have been sold to Chinese operators to date for a range of both commercial and public services.