Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the new generation AW149 multirole military helicopter has been issued with military certification by the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO). The Type Certificate was signed and delivered to Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland during an official ceremony held at the Farnborough International Air Show today, in the presence of Finmeccanica Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Mauro Moretti, and several dignitaries and representatives from the Italian military authorities. An AW149 aircraft has completed in recent months certification trials with the Reparto Sperimentale di Volo (RSV), the Italian Official Test Center based at Pratica di Mare Airbase, near Rome. Operational evaluation tests will follow shortly.
Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland said “With the military certification of the AW149 we celebrate today another outstanding success in the long history of cooperation between our company, the Italian Ministry of Defence and the Italian Air Force. With this achievement the first new generation multirole utility aircraft in its segment in over 40 years is ready for the Italian armed forces and will deliver a major step forward in capability and cost effectiveness.” The company added “The AW149 is also now ready to enter the international market to meet a number of fleet modernization requirements. We thank all the relevant Italian authorities for their contribution to this important milestone.” A number of potential customers are assessing the AW149 globally and it is the ideal solution to meet the Polish Ministry of Defence’s need for a new multirole helicopter fleet thanks to its all new design, unmatched capabilities, attractive through life cycle costs and the significant contribution made to the programme by PZL-Świdnik during its development. The achievement of military certification makes the state-of-the-art AW149 even more attractive to Poland. The selection of the AW149 built by PZL-Świdnik for the Polish requirement would ensure local production, assembly and through life support and training, allowing PZL-Świdnik to keep and enhance its long standing role in the rotorcraft industry sector, by supplying helicopters to Polish and international markets.
The only all new helicopter in its category in decades, the 8 tonne class AW149 is ideally positioned to replace thousands of ageing models in the next 30 to 40 years. With a fully digital avionics system with open architecture and fully integrated mission equipment, a modern NVG compatible glass cockpit and a 4-axis auto-pilot, the AW149 has been specifically designed for modern battlefield operations. The helicopter is powered by two 2,000 shp (1,500 kW) class GE CT7-2E1 turboshaft engines with FADEC and features an advanced rotor system. The AW149 is provided with a unique 50 min ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box allowing unprecedented levels of safety and survivability. For true all weather operations a rotor ice protection system will be available as a customer option. The AW149, due to its open architecture design, will be capable of being fitted with a wide range of role equipment and mission avionics as required by the customer. The AW149, capable of seating up to 18 troops in its 11.6 m3 (409 ft3) cabin, is perfectly suited to perform a wide range of duties such as troop transport, battlefield and logistic operations, fire support, SAR and personnel recovery, special forces operations, reconnaissance, surveillance, CASEVAC, command control & communication, external load lifting as well as VIP transport.