Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced today that the South African Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) of South Africa has signed a contract for three AW119Kx emergency medical services (EMS) equipped helicopters to expand their current fleet of five AW119Ke aircraft. 

The contract also includes an option to acquire five additional units. The initial three aircraft will be delivered from AgustaWestland’s Philadelphia facility between January and October 2016. 

AMS is the first civilian operator in South Africa to introduce night vision systems into air medical activities, to allow 24/7 operations on demand, which is becoming the standard for health organisations worldwide. 

This agreement will allow AMS to operate an emergency medical services fleet in sub-Saharan Africa. 

The AW119Kx avionics system includes a synthetic vision system, moving map, highway in the sky and obstacle/terrain avoidance systems for enhanced situational awareness and safety. 

Over 250 AW119 helicopters have been ordered to date in more than 30 countries by over 110 customers. The new AW119Kx, like the AW119Ke, has been designed for EMS, VIP/corporate transport, utility, fire-fighting, law enforcement and government roles.

 South African Red Cross Air Mercy Service:

Established in 1966 by the SA Red Cross Society and formed into an independent trust in 1994, AMS shares the principles and creed of the South African Red Cross Society. AMS is a non-profit organisation with bases in the Western Cape (Cape Town & Oudtshoorn), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban & Richards Bay), Limpopo (Polokwane) and Mpumalanga (Nelspruit).

They provide an air ambulance network, rural health outreach and emergency rescue service to metropolitan areas and remote rural communities.