Military certification for the AW149
The military certification for the new generation twin-engine AW149 helicopter was announced yesterday at the Farnborough Airshow. The official ceremony with signing and handover of the Certificate issued by the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO) to Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland took place in the Finmeccanica static area in the presence of the CEO and General Manager, Mauro Moretti, and representatives of the military authorities.
The trials included under the certification were completed at Pratica di Mare, at the Reparto Sperimental di Volo (RSV), the Italian Air Force Official Test Center. The operational evaluation of the helicopter will follow shortly, in preparation for the entry into service with the armed forces.
"With this certification we enter more strongly in the international tenders", declared the CEO and General Manager of Finmeccanica Moretti on the sidelines of the ceremony, adding that it is a helicopter "with great performance and an excellent price. It is a beautiful new entry in a highly competitive market."
A number of potential customers are assessing the AW149 globally. These include the Polish Ministry of Defence, which is assessing the characteristics to fill the need for a new multi-role helicopter fleet, including the contribution that PZL Swidnik (Polish subsidiary of Finmeccanica -AgustaWestland) could give to the offset.
On the same day, Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced that it has completed the demonstration of its Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System / Optionally Piloted Helicopter (RUAS/OPH) to the Italian Ministry of Defence. The tests were aimed at evaluating the modern remotre controlled rotorcraft technology and its potential to provide enhanced capabilities for the Italian armed forces in the future.
For the helicopter sector of Finmeccanica, the day ended with the selection by the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSAAT) of the new generation AW169 twin-engine light intermediate helicopter for emergency medical service missions. The helicopter, operated by Specialist Aviation Services, will enter into service in the autumn of 2015, and KSSAAT will be the first HEMS customer to introduce the AW169 in the United Kingdom.