Jun 26, 2013
Mauritanian, Senegalese air forces order AW109 AgustaWestland helicopters
The contract with Mauritania was signed on June 17 at the Paris Air Show.
The AW109 helicopters would be used for border patrol and reconnaissance missions, and would be delivered in mid-2014 in a multi-role homeland security configuration and the contract also includes training and support package.
Mauritania’s Air Force only flies two other helicopters – Chinese Harbin Z-9As delivered in 2003.
The Mauritanian Air Force has been growing in recent times, especially in response to Islamic terrorist organisations operating in the region. Four Embraer EMB-312F Tucanos were received from France in 2010 and 2011, while the nation began taking delivery of new Super Tucanos in October 2012.
Also at the Paris Air Show, AgustaWestland announced that it had signed a contract for a single AW139 medium helicopter, which will be operated by the Senegal Air Force. It will most likely be used for VIP transport.
The contract marks the entrance of AgustaWestland helicopters in the regional market, and includes in-country support services and training for both aircrew and maintainers.
Senegal is also expanding its air force, with the country recently ordering three A-29 Super Tucanos from Embraer. The contract was signed on April 10 this year.