AW159 helicopter finds first export customer
AgustaWestland will supply the AW159 helicopter to the Republic of Korea Navy following its selection of the aircraft to fulfil its Maritime Operational Helicopter requirement. The company has signed a contract to deliver eight AW159 helicopters in what is the first export order for the aircraft.
The contract will see AgustaWestland deliver the eight aircraft as well as aircrew and maintainer training, initial spares and support services. Deliveries of the aircraft will start in 2015 and be completed in 2016.
Bruno Spagnolini, CEO, AgustaWestland, said: ‘This was a demanding competition, with an extensive evaluation of all the competitors, and demonstrates that the AW159 offers a winning combination of capability and value for money, even when competing against larger helicopters. We’ve had a long and successful partnership with the Republic of Korea Navy, which operates a large fleet of our Super Lynx helicopters, so we welcome their continued confidence in our aircraft and intend to build on today’s success in other export markets in future.’
The Republic of Korea Navy aircraft will be equipped with a wide range of mission equipment including an active dipping sonar, 360 degree scan radar, nose mounted electro-optical device and a rescue hoist. It will also be equipped to carry anti-ship missiles, torpedoes and a door mounted gun. This will allow it to perform a wide range of roles, from both shore and ship bases, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, maritime security and maritime surveillance.
The AW159 helicopter is known as the AW159 Wildcat in UK service, 62 of which are being delivered by the company to replace Lynx helicopters in service with the Royal Navy and British Army.
The AW159 has a semi-rigid rotor head which gives it high agility and the same ship operating capabilities of the Lynx helicopter. It is also fitted with composite rotor blades utilising the same technology that enabled the Lynx to break the world helicopter speed record. The AW159 is powered by a pair of LHTEC CTS800-4N engines, each providing up to 1,361 shp, which gives the aircraft exceptional performance, even in hot and high environments. The engine installation also incorporates exhausts with built in IR suppression to provide increased survivability; while the integrated cockpit features four large area (10” x 8”) cockpit displays and a fully integrated avionics suite and mission system to provide increased mission capability and increased crew effectiveness.
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