AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that an Italian Air Force AW139M is about to start a four week demonstration tour throughout South America following its appearance at FIDAE 2014 in Chile this week. During the demonstration tour, which will start in Chile, a number of government customers will have the opportunity to fly the AW139M and test its class leading capabilities for roles such as homeland security, search and rescue, armed patrol and battlefield support.
As the military variant of the extremely successful AW139, the “M” version is expected to attract significant interest from government operators requiring an cost effective “off-the-shelf” multi-role helicopter. The AW139M has all the outstanding features of its AW139 commercial counterpart together with a wide range of military equipment options. These options include dedicated equipment such as armored cockpit seats to improve crew protection, ballistic-tolerant self-sealing fuel tanks, heavy duty landing gear, high-definition FLIR, defensive aids suite, crashworthy troop seats, mission specific avionics and tactical communications, an external weapon stores system. The AW139M also features a low thermal and acoustic signature and is available with an optional full ice protection system for flight in known icing conditions.
Able to operate from ashore and at sea, the AW139M’s high performance search radar, Electro-Optic / Infra Red (EO/IR) device with video recording and downlink, personnel insertion/extraction equipment including a hoist, fast roping and rappelling points make it ideal for law enforcement missions. For battlefield operations the AW139 can carry a range of armament including Heavy Machine Gun pods, 2.75” (70mm) air-to-ground rockets, 12.7mm sniper rifle and 7.62mm and 12.7mm machine guns.
The large constant section cabin with 30% more cabin volume than legacy platforms provides the capability to accommodate up to 15 passengers or 10 fully equipped soldiers on crashworthy troop seats or a wide range of equipment and cargo. The large stowage area to the rear of the cabin is accessible in flight or externally on the ground. Combined, these offer an exceptional transport capability. With the external cargo hook, loads of up to 2200 kg (4850 lb) can be transported to the battlefield. Two large sliding cabin doors aid ingress and egress of personnel. Crew and occupants can be protected by modular armor protection in the cabin and cockpit.
The AW139M is one of AgustaWestland’s dual-use concept products, carrying all the benefits of being an “Off-The-Shelf” solution with over 850,000 flight hours of experience with hundreds of operators all over the world. Military operators of the AW139 include the Italian Air Force, Irish Air Corps, Qatar Emiri Air Force, UAE Armed Forces and the Royal Thai Army to name a few.
The AW139M is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW169M and AW149 models, which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne weight categories.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Mar 26, 2014