AgustaWestland has delivered a second of five AW139 medium twin engine helicopters to the Libyan General Security (police and justice) department, through the Libyan Italian Advanced Technology Company (LIATEC).
The LIATEC plant was opened in April and was constructed at Abou Aisha airport, 60 km south of Tripoli, at a cost of almost 18 million euros. LIATEC is a joint stock company established in 2006 by three shareholders – the Libyan Company for Aviation Industry (50%), Finmeccanica (25%) and AgustaWestland (25%) to improve and develop Libya’s the aviation and electronic systems capabilities.
The Italian helicopter house adds that it has since 2006 sold some 20 rotorcraft of various kinds to the North African state. This includes a number of AW119Ke helicopters allocated to emergency medical service duties and at least 10 General Security AW109 Powers assigned border patrol missions. General Security will deploy the AW139s for a range of roles including border patrol and search-and-rescue.
Libya`s desert borders are notoriously porous, a fact illustrated by the number of illegal migrants crossing the country to access Europe and especially Italy. Another worry is that al Qaeda in the Maghreb insurgents have stepped up their activities in the region and pose a threat to Colonel Moammar Gadhafi`s government.