Europe's attack helicopters are also getting attention. While Italy updates its utility fleet with the NH90, the army's AW129 Mangustas will receive the new Rafael Spike missile to replace the aging TOW system, which has been the aircraft's primary weapon since the type entered service in the late 1980s. The new Mangusta, designated AH-129D, will also receive the Rafael TopLite III EO turret and laser-sighting system, and the ability to fire the Hydra 70 Mk.66 unguided rocket.
AgustaWestland is preparing the first batch of three aircraft for delivery in April. Of the 59 Mangustas in service with the army, 32 will be upgraded to the AH-129D standard. The rest will be AH-129C versions. Deliveries of the upgraded aircraft will be completed in 2014.