Nigeria’s Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) has taken delivery of the first of two Leonardo twin-engine AW189 VIP helicopters.
The Italian-made AW189 helicopter arrived Abuja last week spotting the registration number 5N-FG2, and colors of the Nigerian Air Force’s Presidential Air Fleet.
Before being delivered to Nigeria, 5N-FG2 underwent flight trials at Leonardo’s Italian Venegono helicopter facility in Italy on 2 March.
A second AW189 helicopter is expected to be delivered later this year to complete the order for two units.
According to Leonardo, the AW189 is a multirole super medium-sized twin-engine helicopter designed by AgustaWestland and powered by two General Electric CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines.
The first prototype completed its flight maiden at AgustaWestland’s Cascina Costa facility in Italy in December 2011 after a model was unveiled during the Paris Air Show in June 2011.
AW189 helicopters can carry out several missions including VIP transport, offshore and passenger transport, search and destroy, medevac. It comes equipped with an 11.2m spacious cabin capable of carrying up to 18 seats.
In Nigeria, the new AW189 will complement several other types in the Presidential fleet comprising of the Air Force One Boeing 737- 800, one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidney 4000, two AgustaWestland AW-139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW-101 helicopters.
The helicopter will operate from the Abuja/Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria) where the Presidential Air Fleet is based.