At the DSEI 2019 exhibition, Leonardo displays its latest-generation medium-lift AW149 helicopter. The modern, reliable and cost-effective aircraft is rapidly configurable to meet a wide range of military missions: Troop transport/troop insertion (carrying up to 16 fully-equipped troops or up to 19 passengers), cargo re-supply/external lift, CASEVAC/MEDEVAC, search and rescue (SAR), Special Forces operations and combat SAR, Command and Control (C2), and close air support. The AW149 has been certified by the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO). It has already been selected in the export market where it is in service today.
Leonardo is pitching the twin-engine AW149 to customers around the world which are considering replacing their fleets of ageing multi-mission helicopters and it could be an ideal solution for the UK. In line with this strategy, the AW149 is designed to meet the operational needs of military commanders with excellent levels of safety and survivability and attractive through-life costs. Features such as 4-axis autopilot, advanced open system avionics architecture and large sliding doors for ease of access for troops and equipment make the AW149 an ideal candidate to replace legacy platforms as they go out of service. The twin engine type features excellent hot & high performance and a max cruise speed (ISA, MTOW, SL) of 287 km/h 155 kt.
Presented with the aircraft at DSEI 2019 is an integrated replica sensor suite which includes the Osprey radar, SAGE electronic support measures (ESM) and a MAIR missile warner. The Leonardo sensors are representative offerings forming part of an integrated Defensive Aids Suite (DAS). The aircraft can be tailored to meet future customer requirements. An AW149 will soon be based at Yeovil showing its technologies and how it can be developed further to meet specific operational demands.
The multi-role military helicopter can carry a variety of armaments such as: 2 x 7.62 mm/2 x 12.7 mm machines guns (internal), 2 x 20 mm gun pods, 2 x 12.7 mm gun pods, 2 x 2.75” rocket launchers and 2 x ATM launchers. Tailored payload and weapon system solutions are available thanks to the modern open architecture design.
The AW149 is designed to carry a host of weapons and stores on external carriers and on the window gun mount. The helicopter is able to provide unparalleled crew safety. Contributing to its high battle survivability the aircraft features crashworthy fuselage and seats, heavy duty landing gear, self-sealing fuel tanks, fully integrated DAS along with additional armour protection, a unique 50 minutes ‘run dry’ capable MGB and advanced avionics and sensors allowing outstanding situational awareness. The AW149 is also designed to operate in confined areas under hostile environments.