Italian Success With AW249 Helicopter To Replace A129 Mangusta

Italy has introduced its military products with the maiden flight of a prototype AW249 series attack helicopter on August 12, 2022 in the city of Vergiate. The AW249 series was created to replace the A129 Mangusta series helicopters which have been in service for the Italian army since 1990.

Leonardo’s helicopter was inaugurated as the AW249 NEES ( Nouvo Elicontero da Esplorazione e Scorta / New Exploration and Escort Helicopter ) which began work in 2017 initiated by the Italian Ministry of Defense with its NEES program. The NEES program also includes three pre-series production helicopters. , one prototype, and a total of 48 operational helicopters.

The AW249 is designed for future space combat, coupled with an open systems architecture, and for the need to collaborate with other platforms in network-centric operations, and will feature Mannned-unmanned teaming (MUM-) capabilities. T).

Powered by a pair of GE Aviation CT7-8E6 (E700) turboshafts, each engine of the AW249 helicopter produces 2,500hp equivalent to 2,860kW. To save development costs, dynamic components are still used from the AW149 series helicopter.

AW249 has a speed of 360km / h, with an endurance of three hours, with a maximum takeoff weight between 7,500 – 8,000 kg. Having a weight twice as much as the A219 series, the AW149 is able to operate from hot or cold weather.

The helicopter’s interoperability and situational awareness will be driven by the C2 (Command and control) and C4 (command, control, communications, and computer) systems, along with Software Defined Radios for multi-band Line of Sight (LOS), Beyond Line Vision communications (BLOS). ), Variable Message Format (VMF), Link-16 data link, and photo and video transmission system (ROVER).

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Situational awareness will also benefit from obstacle profile detection and altimetric systems, as well as all standard navigation aids, day/night and thermal vision systems, as well as helmet-mounted displays (HMDs) and various information will be displayed on a large area display (LAD) in both cockpits.

The AW249 has twice the payload compared to the A129. There are six gun hangers on the small wing that can accommodate air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles, guided rockets and external fuel tanks, in addition to a chin-mounted 20mm cannon.

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