Oct 9, 2013
AgustaWestland nears certification for military AW149
The new 8t-class medium-twin is being developed as a variant of the civil AW189, which is due to achieve EASA approval in the coming weeks.
However, the AW149 is yet to find a customer. Italy's air force was initially considered to be a likely buyer to fulfil a search and rescue requirement, but it instead acquired the lighter AW139M.
Nonetheless, AgustaWestland believes the AW149 will prove popular with armed forces looking for an alternative to Sikorsky's ubiquitous UH-60 Black Hawk.
The earliest test of its competitiveness against the Sikorsky aircraft, and Eurocopter's EC725, will come in Poland, which has a tri-service requirement for 70 helicopters. Warsaw is yet to issue a request for proposals for the contest.