Leonardo AW119K Helicopter for Israel: Italian helicopter manufacturer Leonardo has been awarded a $29 million contract by the U.S. Department of Defense for supply of new AW119Kx helicopters to Israel under the framework of Foreign Military Sales (FMS), with the U.S. Army Contracting Command as the contracting activity. The aircraft will be fully produced at Leonardo’s facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Israel’s Ministry of Defence is already an AW119Kx customer. In 2019 a contract was signed for a comprehensive range of integrated defense training capabilities, which included seven AW119Kx single engine helicopters to be produced in the United States. The comprehensive training program also includes full flight simulators and other training devices, newly built facilities and a 20-year support package.
Leonardo says as a single engine helicopter, the multirole AW119 has proven increasingly successful in recent years in the world’s defense market for both training and operational mission profiles.
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a contract for up to 130 AW119’s to replace the aging TH-57 Sea Ranger as the primary training helicopter for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, with 104 units on order to date. Additionally, the Portuguese Air Force presently uses their fleet of five AW119s for training, MEDEVAC, troop transport and short range maritime SAR and may be used for firefighting.
“The number of AW119 operators continues to grow as the type has been chosen for defense, homeland security and law enforcement missions by operators in countries such as USA, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Brazil, Ecuador, and the Republic of Korea, among others,” Leonardo said in a statement sent to Defence Star.
The versatile AW119 features both VFR and IFR capable core avionic systems for enhanced situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety, giving operators different options to meet their specific needs.
The type delivers outstanding overall performance with a strong power margin and the largest cabin in its category, able to accommodate up to six passengers depending on configuration. Over 470 AW119s have been sold to date.
The AW119 has been in service of many countries including the USA, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Republic of Korea among others.