AgustaWestland unveiled two new helicopters this week, the TUHP149 (AW-149) medium lift utility helicopter, proposed to Turkey and the AW159, formerly known as ‘Future Lynx’ being built for the British Royal Navy.

The multi-role AW159 is based on the Lynx family, offering a common design, sensor and weapon capability, utilized by both British Army and Navy. The common helicopter is optimized for both operational environments and, when fielded, could be rapidly reconfigured from one role to another. The helicopter will perform a wide range of tasks including battlefield reconnaissance, maritime surface attack and utility lift.

The first flight of the aircraft is on schedule to take place in November 2009 with the first airframe having entered final assembly in November 2008, ahead of schedule. AW159 deliveries will commence in 2011 and it will enter operational service with the British Army in 2014 and the Royal Navy in 2015. When the helicopter becomes operational with the UK military it will receive the service name ‘Lynx Wildcat’. The UK MOD plans to buy a total of 62 AW159 helicopters, of which 34 will be delivered to the Army and 28 to the Navy.

The AW159 program for the UK MoD was the first major project to be awarded under the Strategic Partnering Arrangement signed by the UK Ministry of Defence and AgustaWestland in June 2006. The company has teamed with a number of industry partners and suppliers for the program, including Selex Galileo, a sister company in the Finmeccanica group, GKN Aerospace, LHTEC – a partnership between Rolls-Royce and Honeywell, General Dynamics UK, Thales UK and GE Aviation.

TUHP-149 Proposed to Turkey

The first prototype of the AW149 multi-role military medium twin engine helicopter successfully completed its maiden flight on November 13th, 2009 at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant. The aircraft, flown by AgustaWestland Chief Test Pilot Giuseppe Lo Coco, performed a 20 minutes flight that included an assessment of the helicopter’s general handling and basic systems. The first helicopter will be followed by a second prototype in 2010 with the aim to achieve initial operational capability in 2014.

TUHP 149 unveilled at the IDEF 2009 exhibition in Istanbul is proposed for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program. AgustaWestland is hopeful that its current teaming with Turkish industries, including TAI, ASELSAN, TEI, ROKETSAN, and HAVELSAN, established for the AW129 helicopter gunship selected for the Turkish ATAK program, will also promote its position on the utility helicopter procurement as well.

The first AW149 prototype, fully representative of the AW149 final configuration with respect to the airframe and avionics, while the second prototype will fly in the final configuration incorporating two 2,000 shp class GE CT7-2E1 turbines with FADEC and an all new transmission system. With a fully digital avionics system with open architecture and fully integrated mission equipment, a modern glass cockpit and a 4-axis auto-pilot, the AW149 eight ton class helicopter is specifically designed for modern battlefield operations.

The AW149 is fitted with the latest all weather day-night operational capabilities, dedicated avionics and a NVG-compatible cockpit, while rotor ice protection will be available as an option

This new generation 8.1 ton medium lift multi-role helicopter
Will be powered by two high performance turbine engines and is capable of operating in all environments day and night. Its prescribed combat missions include troop transport, battlefield and logistic operations, fire support, SAR and combat SAR, special forces operations, reconnaissance, surveillance, CASEVAC, command control and communication, external load lifting etc. Like other helicopters in this class, it features a wide, constant cross section and unobstructed cabin with large sliding doors.

The cabin can be reconfigured to meet different operational requirements, it can accommodate up to 18 equipped troops, and carry a wide range of weapons, including rocket launchers, air-to-surface missiles and rockets, machine-guns as well as external auxiliary tanks in a variety of combinations. Pintle mounted machine-guns can also be fitted on fixed frame windows or in the doors. Structural provisions for the installation of an external cargo hook, heavy duty rescue hoist and a wide range of other mission equipment are provided.

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