Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!


Web Desk
August 29, 2018

Leonardo AW139: Helicopter under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s use


Web Desk
Wed, Aug 29, 2018
Photo courtesy: Tahir Imran 

ISLAMABAD: The austerity claims of newly installed government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were busted when information regarding the use of helicopter by the prime minister from PM House to his personal residence in Banigala emerged last week.

Prime Minister Imran Khan travels twice a day in an official helicopter, Saleem Safi wrote in his column for Daily Jang. This triggered a fierce debate on media leaving the government red faced.

PTI MNA Ali Mohammad Khan was the first senior party member to admit the claim and defended it saying it saves cost. Later, Information Minster Fawad Ch came forward with another statement that the cost of the helicopter is just Rs50-55 per kilometer.

There are several factors that are counted in air travel not only the distance covered. What is more important in this regard is the type of helicopter being used for traveling.

The chopper currently under prime minister’s use is AW139 manufactured by Agusta Wetlands that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Italian aviation firm, Leonardo, BBC Urdu reported.

At what price, Pakistan bought it in 2009, is not known but current list price of AW139 is approx 12 million dollars.

In 2017, the company announced that the Pakistan government has placed orders for an undisclosed number of additional AgustaWestland AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters.

‘The aircraft will be used to perform utility and transport operations across the nation. Deliveries are expected to start in mid-2017, it added.

According to the company website, the AW139 is the market-leading intermediate twin-engine helicopter - the benchmark for safety design features, performance capabilities and productivity in challenging multi-role operations all over the world.


The aircraft features leading edge technology, including a Honeywell Primus Epic fully integrated avionics system and 4-axis digital AFCS and benefits from the best-in-class power reserve and outstanding power to weight ratio, which provides Category A performance capabilities with no limitations in a wide range of operating conditions, including ‘hot and high’.

Leading Features:

Best-in-class performance with a cruise speed of 165 knots / 306 kph

Constructed with energy-absorbing landing gear, fuselage and seats all designed to meet the rigorous JAR / FAR 29 standards

State-of-the-art avionics, with large displays work together with the 4-axis digital autopilot with auto hover and full digital electronic engine control (FADEC) to minimise pilot workload.

Technical details:

Weights (MTOW)

Max Gross Weight: 6,400 kg - 14,110 lb

Increased Max Gross Weight*: 6,800/7,000 kg - 14,991/15,430 lb

Engine Rating (2 x Pratt & Whitney PT6C - 67C)

Take off power (5 min): 2 x 1,252 kW - 2 x 1,679 shp

Maximum continuous power: 2 x 1,142 kW - 2 x 1,531 shp

Transmission Rating

Take off power (5 min): 1,641 kW - 2,200 shp

Maximum continuous power: 1,491 kW - 2,000 shp

Fuel Capacity

Standard: 1,568 l – 414 USgal

Auxiliary: 500 l – 132 USgal


Pilots / passengers: 1 - 2 / 15

External Dimensions

Overall length**: 16.66 m 54 ft 08 in

Overall height**: 4.98 m 16 ft 04 in

Main rotor diameter: 13.80 m 45 ft 03 in

Performance (ISA, MGW)

VNE (SL): 310 km / h 167 kts

Max cruise speed (SL): 306 km / h 165 kts

Hovering IGE: 4,682 m 15,360 ft

Hovering OGE: 2,478 m 8,130 ft

Service ceiling (MCP): 6,096 m 20,000 ft

Max range with auxiliary fuel (SL) *** 1,061 km 573 nm

Max endurance with auxiliary fuel (SL)*** 5 h 13 m

* Available as a kit

** Rotor turning

***No reserve


  • Engine air particle separators
  • Closed circuit refuelling system
  • Auxiliary fuel tank (500 litres / 132 USgal)
  • Full Ice Protection System (FIPS)
  • Wire strike protection
  • Blade folding and ship deck mooring
  • Single/dual rescue hoist (272 kg / 600 lb) with hoist light and monitoring camera
  • Fast roping/rappelling
  • Cargo hook (2200 kg / 4850 lb) with monitoring cameras
  • External loudspeakers
  • Self contained EMS/MEDEVAC kit
  • Snow skis/Slump protection pads
  • Cabin bubble windows
  • Emergency floats
  • Life rafts
  • Search lights
  • Marking for high visibility main rotor blades
  • Customized painting scheme with metallic colours
  • All weather covers


  • Cockpit Voice Recorder & Flight Data Recorder (CVR/FDR)
  • Weather radar
  • Weather/search radar
  • 4-axis Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) with SAR modes & FMS SAR patterns
  • Mode S diversity transponder with Extended Squitter (ADSB-Out)
  • Two GPS modules (GNSS/SBAS - Global Navigation Satellite System/Satellite Based Augmentation System)
  • Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS)
  • Helicopter Operations Monitoring Programme (HOMP)
  • NVG compatibility (cockpit, cabin & external lights)
  • SATCOM Iridium satellite phone
  • TCAS I & II
  • FLIR
  • Digital HD video recorder
  • Video downlink
  • Helicopter Emergency Exit Light System (HEELS)
  • Auto-Deployable ELT (ADELT)
  • Moving map
  • Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS)
  • Enhanced Vision System (EVS)
  • HF radios
  • Tactical radios
  • Maritime radios


  • Passenger cabin hinged doors
  • Silent/Super silent/Extra silent soundproofing
  • Electrically operated passenger steps (left and right)
  • Environmental Control System
  • Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headsets
  • High density utility kit configuration (15 passengers)
  • Cockpit/cabin separation wall
  • Passenger Address (PA) system
  • Cabinets
  • Multi-purpose cubby
  • Audio/video entertainment systems with LCD monitors
  • VIP interphone system with secure communications
  • Offshore interior
  • SAR interior
  • EMS interiors
  • Law Enforcement interior
  • Corporate/VVIP interior