Five state-of-the-art helicopters for Portugal’s Air Force (AF) are part of a major contract by the Portuguese Ministry of Defence with aircraft supplier Leonardo. The contract, valued in excess of £20 million, carries options for two additional helicopters, with deliveries from a Philadelphia-based production facility scheduled between late 2018 and early 2020.
The AW119Kx helicopters are designed for different roles, including training for military crews before they are assigned to front-line aircraft, such as Super Lynx and AW101 helicopters and short-range maritime search and rescue (SAR) efforts. The AW119 is a flexible part of many military activities, with almost 320 of the helicopters having been ordered to date by nearly 130 customers in 40 countries.
The AW119Kx single-engine helicopter provide a great deal of versatility, operating with one or two pilots and carrying as many as seven passengers.
The multiple-role, single-engine helicopters are also useful for commercial and civilian applications, such as firefighting. Selection of the helicopters is evidence of the long-standing partnership between Leonardo and the Portuguese Ministry of Defence, and comes after a long evaluation process of possible replacement aircraft for the aging single-engine aircraft of the Portuguese military. The AW119Kx aircraft offer excellent training opportunities for military personnel before moving on to more advanced front-line aircraft.
The AW119Kx aircraft are designed for one or two pilots with six or seven passengers. Equipped with a single-engine Pratt & Whitney power plant, the helicopters feature a modern glass cockpit configured with the Garmin G1000H Integrated Flight Deck system for enhanced situational awareness. The avionic suite includes a synthetic vision system with (HITS) depiction, moving map, and Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System (HTAWS) with worldwide terrain and obstacle database. The spacious and versatile aircraft are well suited for civilian and military applications at reasonably controlled operating costs.