Leonardo Helicopters is mounting a sustained sales push for the AW149 medium-lift multirole military helicopter. Designed and built from the ground up as a military helicopter, the AW149 is a larger, more powerful derivative of the AW139.
Then-AgustaWestland (now Leonardo Helicopter Division) publicly launched the AW149 multirole helicopter in July 2006 at the Farnborough Air Show, but after an unsuccessful bid to win an order for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Program (TUHP) requirement and following the failure to win an order in Poland, the AW149 marketing effort was scaled back.
Nick Whitney, director of UK sales and export campaigns at Leonardo Helicopters UK, told AIN, “For a while, the AW149 got a bit superseded by a commercial product, the 189. The demand was for a civil certified variant, and since the 149 had been developed from the ground up as a military aircraft, the AW189 was born, based on the 149. But now we’re firmly back offering the military 149. We see a good potential market for that product.”
The 8.6-tonne AW149 is marketed as an alternative to the Sikorsky S70/UH-60 Black Hawk and the Airbus Helicopters Puma/Super Puma family. It fits in the Leonardo product range between the 6.4-tonne AW139M (which can carry 15 passengers or up to 10 fully equipped troops), and the 10.6-tonne NH90 (which accommodates 20 fully equipped troops). (end of excerpt)
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