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Friday, April 12, 2013

AgustaWestland Unwraps AW169 AAS for Armed Aerial Scout Competition

By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief

Quad-A, Fort Worth, Texas—The twin-engine AW169 AAS was uncovered (literally) on Thursday as AgustaWestland’s entry into the competition for the U.S. Army’s Armed Aerial Scout requirement. The mock-up, without rotor blade, was declared by Scott Rettig, CEO AgustaWestland North America, as a helicopter that would “set a new standard” in reconnaissance helicopters.

 

Photos by Andrew Drwiega

 

The AW169 AAS has been proposed as an aircraft that meets the U.S. Army’s requirements, even though AgustaWestland has another reconnaissance helicopter in its portfolio, the AW159 Wildcat (as sold to the UK’s Army Air Corps and Royal Navy). Said Tony Duthie, head of marketing development: “The AW159 can do the job but the AW169 matches the U.S. Army requirements.”

Unlike most of its competitors, he continued, “this is a helicopter at the beginning of its lifecycle. It is modern, highly certified and represents a point of departure for the Armed Aerial Scout program.”

 

 

AW169 key operating factors are a max gross weight up to 10,000 lbs., compliance with 6K/95F, 135 knots speed, 550 km range and an endurance of three hours. Two Pratt & Whitney PW210As will supply power.

The first prototype of the civil AW169 flew in May 2012 with the fourth and final prototype taking to the air in the beginning of February 2013. Basic certification is scheduled for 2014 with the company having received orders for more than 70 civil AW169s so far.

Related: Airframe News

 

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