Possessing Many Deadly Weapons, Italian-made Leonardo AW249 Attack Helicopter Flys First

Possessing Many Deadly Weapons, Italian-made Leonardo AW249 Attack Helicopter Flys First
Italian-made Leonardo AW249 Attack Helicopte

International Military - The first prototype of the AW249 attack helicopter, developed by Leonardo Helicopters, made its first flight. The flight was on August 12 at the company's facility in Vergiate, Italy.

The helicopter is equipped with an OTO Melara TM197B 20mm machine gun and Rafael's Toplite Electro-Optic. The experimental prototype was the first helicopter to be produced under NEES. The NEES program is run by the Italian Army.

The NEES program was launched in 2017. It is supposed to replace the A129D Mangusta reconnaissance and attack helicopters. They have served with the Italian army since the 1990s. NEES signed with Leonardo Helicopters for the development of the $487 million AW249 helicopter.

Quoted from Bulgarian Military, Thursday (25/8/2022), the AW249 meets all the requirements of a new generation of helicopters that will meet the needs of the rapidly evolving battlefield over the next 30 years. The AW249 will combine advanced technology, outstanding performance and high durability with low operating costs.

The Italian military will retire the A129D in 2025 and plans to take delivery of the AW249 from 2025. Delivery of 1 experimental prototype, 3 serial prototypes and 48 operational helicopters is planned in the project so that the AW249 can adapt to changing scenarios according to future battlefield needs. , the helicopter is planned to be designed with an open systems architecture.

The Leonardo AW249 Attack Helicopter Flys First

The helicopters which will be equipped with line-of-sight [LOS], beyond-line-of-sight [BLOS] communication equipment, and advanced command and control systems, are also planned to be able to operate unmanned systems. In addition, the helicopter will also have a digital cockpit and helmet-mounted display system [HMD] to enhance situational awareness.

The helicopter is powered by 2 GE Aviation CT7-8E6 [T700] turboshaft engines. Each is capable of producing 2,583 shp [1,925 kW]. The AW249 has a maximum takeoff weight [MTOW] of 8,000 kg, almost double that of the A129D.

This helicopter is designed to operate in high altitude, low and high temperature conditions. Helicopters will be able to serve as ships that are deployed when needed. With a higher maximum takeoff weight, this helicopter will be able to carry almost twice as much armament as the A129D.

The AW249, which has six weapons stations, is expected to carry a 20mm machine gun, guided/undirected missiles, external fuel tanks, air-to-air missiles and Rafael's SPIKE anti-tank missiles. The helicopter will have an advanced self-defense system, the Elettronica ELT-162 Radar Warning Receiver [RWR], and the ELT/577 Quiris Directed Infrared Countermeasure System [DIRCM], Leonardo's Multi-Aperture Infrared Detection System [MAIR] and a missile warning system. MWS].

The helicopter, which will have an armored cockpit and fuel tanks, backup mission equipment, and a collision-resistant airframe for increased survivability, will also be designed with a low radar cross section and infrared signature for low detection.

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