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4 March 2024

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After 40 years of excellent service the last HH-212 (as the AB212 is designated in accordance with the Italian MOD Mission Design Series) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Airforce), made its final flight from its homebase at Grazzanise, Italy, last Thursday 22nd February during a phase out ceremony that celebrated the 40 years of activity and more than 180,000 flight hours of the iconic helicopter.

The “2-12” was introduced early 80s replacing the AB204’s. Since then, the Twin Huey has contributed to the rescue of hundreds of people in Italy and abroad including Malta which for many years it was the backbone for the Helicopter Flight/Air Squadron and finally Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) with collaboration of an Italian Military Mission based in Malta first called Missione Italiana di Assistenza Tecnica a Malta (MIATM).

Following a period of training including helicopter rating and mission certifications both with Malta Police and with the AFM,  the AB-212 crew was then comprised of an Italo-Maltese  crew operating missions from Malta

In 2011 another agreement between Malta-Italy came into effect and the MIATM was renamed as Missione Italiana di Collaborazione nel Campo della Difesa (MICCD).

In June, 2016 Malta paid a Farewell to the MICCD AB 212 helicopters flying in formation with an AFM AW139 helicopter – https://www.difesaonline.it/news-forze-armate/cielo/rientrano-italia-gli-elicotteri-hh212a-della-missione-italiana-malta?fbclid=IwAR1VvcvVQ9ZlpzQoEh7z_8h1W8q1rgZeBaUz6hT7llmeK0oaDtsLWGpFk3o

Ahead of the last flight, we had a chance to take part in an air-to-air photo shooting mission

At the end of 2005, the AB-212 undertook a significant upgrade as part of the ICO (Implementation of Operational Capability) program.

The modified AB-212ICO was very different from its predecessor as it was equipped with two manually activated Flares dispensers for self-protection, provisions for two MG 42/59 caliber 7.62 mm NATO machine guns on both sides of the fuselage; an armored cockpit and fuselage to protect the 2 pilots and 2 gunners from small arms.

As MALTA SHIP PHOTOS & ACTION PHOTOS (MSPAP) we saw the 2-12 in fire fighting mode with the Bambi Bucket during wildfires at Sardinia.

 

 

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Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission.
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