The Republic of Colombia has selected Leonardo’s AW139 intermediate twin-engine aircraft as its new presidential transport helicopter.

Expected to be delivered this spring, the eight-seat VVIP-configured aircraft will be operated by the Colombian Air Force.

AW139’s supply will make the Colombian Air Force ‘the first military customer of the type’ in the country.

The helicopter’s supply will also expand the existing AW139 fleet in Colombia.

The aircraft has been already proven successful for civil transport operations supporting the oil and gas market.

It will feature the highest safety standards and comprise a self-defence suite that is usually incorporated into ‘other helicopters in the head of state / government transport role’.

Leonardo also plans to propose the AW139M military variant to respond to the multirole requirements of the Colombian airforce, army, navy, as well as national police.

According to the company, the AW139 features new cabin space and modern avionics that help the pilot to stay attentive and effectively complete the mission.

So far, over 280 customers in more than 70 nations have placed orders for around 1,200 helicopters.

In addition, approximately 1,100 helicopters are operational and have logged a total of more than 2.9 million flight hours.

Furthermore, the helicopter has also been deployed to fulfil duties such as VIP and government transport around the world.

Currently, Leonardo has more than 400 civil and military helicopters in service in Latin America.

Last month, Leonardo delivered the first two M-345 jet trainer aircraft to the Italian Air Force.