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AW149 undergoes weapons firing trials

17th February 2022 - 12:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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AW149 pictured during weapons-firing trials in Q4 2021. (Photo: Leonardo)

An AW149 helicopter test-fired unguided and laser-guided rockets in trials in an undisclosed European country.

Leonardo on 16 February revealed that it held successful weapon firing trials of unguided and laser-guided rockets with an AW149 helicopter in Q4 2021 ‘in an undisclosed European country’.

The trials assessed safe separation of laser-guided rockets from the hover and forward flight; refinement of the unguided rocket cockpit firing solution symbology to further aid accuracy; and the impact from night ripple firings of unguided rockets on EO sensor and night vision goggle performance.

Leonardo is pitching the AW149 as a candidate solution for the New Military Helicopter (NMH) requirement in the UK. A pre-qualification questionnaire is due to be released for NMH in the near future.

Airbus (with the H175M) and Sikorsky (with the S-70M) have also expressed interest in the programme, which would involve the acquisition of 36-44 aircraft for £1 billion ($1.34 billion).

‘With an active helicopter production line Leonardo will be able to deliver AW149 helicopters by the UK’s required in-service date of 2025,’ Leonardo stated.

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