Leonardo Helicopters AW249

Summary

AW249
Leonardo AW249.jpeg
Leonardo AW249 artist impression
Role Attack helicopter
National origin Italy
Manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A.
Status Under development

The Leonardo Helicopters AW249 is an attack helicopter project under development by the Italian firm Leonardo S.p.A..

Development

In January 2017 the Italian Army awarded the manufacturer a €487 million contract to develop a successor to the A129 Mangusta. This includes one prototype, three pre-serial examples, and the first production helicopter, all except the prototype in an initial operational capability (IOC) configuration. Introduced in 1990, 59 Mangustas are in service and should be retired from 2025 to be replaced by an order for 48.[1] Of the 59 A129s bought, 32 were in service in 2018.[2]

At the November 2017 Dubai air show, Leonardo indicated it was open for collaboration on the project with other nations, as state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries could be a partner to develop a successor its Mangusta-derived T129 ATAK.[3]

Design

It is intended to be more survivable and offensive than the Mangusta with digital communications and more autonomy. The Italian Ministry of Defence has required the incorporation of mature technologies such as the OTO Melara TM197B 20mm chin-mounted cannon, RAFAEL Toplite targeting system and Spike missile from the A129, and the transmission and rotors from the AW149 troop transport.[1]

An Italian Army presentation at a 2017 conference in Kraków showed a MTOW of 7-8t, higher than the 5t AW129, to more than double the weapons load from 800kg to almost 2,000kg, and increased cruise speed, ceiling and endurance. Leonardo has indicated the new design will be more stealthy by lowering its radar cross-section and infrared signature. It will use General Electric T700 or Safran Aneto engines, the latter being recently selected for the commercial AW189K.[3]

Specifications

Data from Defence24[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Capacity: >1800 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,500–8,000 kg (16,535–17,637 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CT7-8E6 [5] turboshaft, 1,900 kW (2,500 shp) each

Performance

  • Cruise speed: 259 km/h (161 mph, 140 kn)
  • Endurance: 3 hours
  • Service ceiling: 6,100 m (20,000 ft)

Armament

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References

  1. ^ a b Perry, Dominic (16 January 2017). "Italy presses ahead with AW129 attack helicopter replacement". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  2. ^ "Rapporto Esercito 2017" (PDF). Esercito Italiano. Esercito Italiano. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Perry, Dominic (15 November 2017). "Additional nations could join with Italy for new attack helicopter". FlightGlobal. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  4. ^ Juliusz Sabak (27 Oct 2017). "Włoski śmigłowiec szturmowy nowej generacji AH-249 [ANALIZA]". Defence24 Sp. z o.o. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017.
  5. ^ "LeonardoAW249". Retrieved 12 March 2021.

External links

  • Official website