Saturday, January 18, 2014
Naval Air Group response time greatly improved with speedier AW-109's
With the faster AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters now in its inventory, the response and deployment time of the Naval Air Group (NAG) for emergencies and calamities have become much quicker.
This was revealed by Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic last Friday.
"It is even faster than our Britten Norman Islander (turboprop) aircraft in level flight. It can respond to emergencies much quicker than any of our existing assets," he said.
The twin-engined Islander aircraft has a top speed of around 170 miles per hour.
On the other hand, the AW-109, which is a rotary-wing aircraft, has a top speed of 177 miles per hour or seven miles faster than the twin-engine plane.
This makes it ideal for patrol, surveillance, resupply and medical evacuation missions, Fabic said.
The PN operates two models of the Britten Norman Islander plane for patrol, surveillance, transport and resupply missions.
Prior to the arrival of the AW-109s, the NAG operates only one Robinson R-22 helicopter, one Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm B0-105 helicopter, two Islander aircraft and four Cessna light utility planes.
All of these air assets have an average top speed of only 150 miles per hours.
Two more AW-109s, the attack version of the helicopter, are expected to join the NAG by the third quarter of this year.
Article Source: PNA